Symbolic understanding of pictures and written words share a common source

Allen, Melissa and Mattock, Karen and Silva, Macarena (2014) Symbolic understanding of pictures and written words share a common source. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 14 (3-4). pp. 187-198. ISSN 1568-5373

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Here we examine the hypothesis that symbolic understanding across domains is mediated by a fundamental ‘symbolizing’ ability in young children. We tested 30 children aged 2-4 years on symbolic tasks assessing iconic and non-iconic word-referent and picture-referent understanding and administered standardised tests of symbolic play and receptive language. Children showed understanding of the symbol-referent relation earlier for pictures than written words, and performance within domains was correlated and, importantly, predicted by a marker of general symbolic ability (e.g. pretend play). Performance on picture and written word tasks was also unrelated to language comprehension. Thus, symbolic abilities in specific domains are underpinned by a general symbolizing ability which arises early in development.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Cognition and Culture
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? psychologysocial psychologyexperimental and cognitive psychologycultural studiesbf psychology ??
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Deposited On:
26 Jul 2012 19:48
Last Modified:
19 Dec 2023 01:20