Document Detail

The emergence of tool use during the second year of life.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22789968     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Despite a growing interest in the question of tool-use development in infants, no study so far has systematically investigated how learning to use a tool to retrieve an out-of-reach object progresses with age. This was the first aim of this study, in which 60 infants, aged 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22months, were presented with an attractive toy and a rake-like tool. There were five conditions of spatial relationships between the toy and the tool, going from the toy and tool being connected to there being a large spatial gap between them. A second aim of the study was to evaluate at what age infants who spontaneously fail the task can learn this complex skill by being given a demonstration from an adult. Results show that even some of the youngest infants could spontaneously retrieve the toy when it was presented inside and touching the top part of the tool. In contrast, in conditions with a spatial gap, the first spontaneous successes were observed at 18months, suggesting that a true understanding of the use of the tool has not been fully acquired before that age. Interestingly, it is also at 18months that infants began to benefit from the demonstration in the conditions with a spatial gap. The developmental steps for tool use observed here are discussed in terms of changes in infants' ability to attend to more than one item in the environment. The work provides insight into the progressive understanding of tool use during infancy and into how observational learning improves with age.
Lauriane Rat-Fischer; J Kevin O'Regan; Jacqueline Fagard
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-7-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental child psychology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1096-0457     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-7-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985128R     Medline TA:  J Exp Child Psychol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes, CNRS UMR 8158, Centre Biomédical des Saints-Pères, 75006 Paris, France.
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