The Development of Spatial Cognition During Childhood: Extending Understanding of Perception, Memory, Language, Maps, and Gestures


Understanding the development of spatial cognition during childhood is important. Paying close attention to development provides a lens through with to explore mechanisms that underlie stability and change in perception, memory, language, and symbolic understanding over time. This symposium, moderated by Alycia Hund, includes four talks highlighting tight links between spatial perception of midline and memory for nearby targets during early childhood explicated through dynamic systems theory, specifying the development of spatial language (especially middle and between) during early childhood by focusing on the role of scaffolding interactions, exploring links between spatial language, maps, and midpoint search strategies during early childhood, and explicating spatial thinking during childhood by integrating maps, words, and gestures. The symposium concludes with a discussion of common themes, including how children perceive, remember, talk about, and gesture about middle and other spatial relations.

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