Mysteries of childhood cognition studied

Feb 14, 2007

U.S. scientists are trying to determine how children develop cognitive skills and how memory affects their judgments.

Researchers at the new Culture, Cognition, and Development Laboratory at Rutgers University-Camden say they are pursuing behavioral inquiries that will offer a deeper understanding of how children and adults perceive the world around them.

"How our minds develop as an interconnected part of our cultural worlds, from childhood throughout our adult lives, is infinitely complex," said assistant professor of psychology Sean Duffy. In one such study, Duffy provides evidence that children as young as five years of age rely upon statistical principles in order to increase the accuracy of their memories.

"For example, in remembering the height of a person you met last year, you combine inexact information about how tall the person actually was with information from the category of which that person is a member," he said.

"The statistical computations behind this are extremely complicated, and yet children as young as five show evidence that they use categories in the same way as adults, suggesting that this ability occurs at the start of life," said Duffy.

The research appeared in the journal Developmental Science.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Identifying the war-afflicted teenagers most in need of mental health care

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Helicopter parenting better for pets than for kids

Jan 14, 2015

Helicopter parenting may not be the best strategy for raising independent kids. But a healthy measure of clinginess and overprotectiveness could actually be advantageous when rearing dogs and cats, according to new research ...

Reaching across the sea for the sake of water

Jan 09, 2015

The Arava desert, a salty wasteland dotted with tufts of scrub, gets only about an inch of rain each year. And yet cows lazily low at dairy farms that collectively produce nearly 8 million gallons of milk annually. Orange ...

Recommended for you

An alternative to medical marijuana for pain?

14 hours ago

Medical marijuana is proliferating across the country due to the ability of cannabis ingestion to treat important clinical problems such as chronic pain. However, negative side effects and the development of tolerance limit ...

Curtailing worry reduces key schizophrenia symptom

14 hours ago

Delusions of persecution in psychiatric patients can be reduced with just six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a new clinical trial has found. Using CBT in this way could potentially help ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.