Shaping the Dynamics of Category Learning in Infants and Adults by Varying Learning Context


During the first year of life, infants develop a remarkable ability to group objects based on their similarities and differences. Even though there are various models of categorisation mechanisms across the lifespan, there is a gap in the research investigating categorisation at different stages of cognitive development. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to compare processes of spontaneous concept formation in infants and adults using an experimental paradigm based on novelty preference. We discovered that both infants and adults show evidence of category learning (Experiment sensory demands to the two groups, we explored how varying parameters of the learning context affect dynamics of category formation. Decreasing memory demands of the task resulted in an acceleration of infants’ category formation (Experiment 2), whereas posing memory load decelerated adults’ dynamics of category formation (Experiment 3).

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