Recognition of form by pre-school children after progressive visual exposure

Helen Skouteris, Beryl E. McKenzie

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The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influence integration of shape information by pre-school children. In a series of four experiments, children saw shapes revealed behind a narrow aperture in an opaque screen and they were then tested for recognition of the shape. In the first experiment, 3-year-old children recognized the shapes presented behind a stationary aperture both with and without a delay of 10 seconds between exposure and test. In Experiments 2A, 2B, and 3 with 2.5-year-old children, it was found that shape recognition was facilitated by a moving aperture as opposed to a moving shape, by up-down as opposed to left-right exposure, and by immediate as opposed to delayed recognition after familiarization with the choice array. It was concluded that recognition of progressively exposed form by 3-year-olds is mediated by integrational and memorial processes that although not fully mature are capable of supporting sophisticated cognitive activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Pre-school children
  • Progressive visual exposure
  • Shape recognition

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