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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
We present a domain-general framework called constrained attentional
associative learning to provide a developmental account for how and when
infants form concepts for animates and inanimates that encapsulate not only
their surface appearance but also their movement characteristics. Six
simulations with the same general-purpose architecture implement the features
of the theory to model infant behavior in learning about objects’ motion
trajectory, their causal role, their onset of motion, and the initial mapping
between a label and a moving object. Behavioral experiments with infants tested
novel hypotheses generated by the model, showing that verbal labels initially
may be associated with specific features rather than overall shape.
Implications of the framework and model are discussed in relation to the
mechanisms of early learning, the development of the animate–inanimate
distinction, and the nature of development in the first years of life.