9.85 | Fall 2012 | Undergraduate

Infant and Early Childhood Cognition


1 Commonsense and cognitive science  
2* Piaget

Piaget, Jean. “Piaget’s Theory.” In Childhood Cognitive Development: The Essential Readings. Edited by Kang Lee. Wiley-Blackwell, 2000, pp. 31–47. ISBN: 9780631216568.

Flavell, John H. The Developmental Psychology of Jean Piaget. With a foreword by Jean Piaget. Van Nostrand Reinhold Inc., 1963, pp. 51–71. ISBN: 9780442024130.

3* Central debates, post-Piaget

Buy at MIT Press Gopnik, Alison M., and Andrew N. Meltzoff. “The Scientist as Child.” In Words, Thoughts, and Theories. The MIT Press, 1996, pp. 13–47. ISBN: 9780262071758.

Chomsky, Noam, and Jerry Fodor. “The Inductivist Fallacy.” In Language and Learning: The Debate between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky. Edited by Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini. Harvard University Press, 1980, pp. 255–75. ISBN: 9780674509412.

4 Methods 1  
5 Methods 2  
6* Perception

Flavell, John H., Patricia H. Miller, and Scott A. Miller. “Infant Cognition.” In Cognitive Development. 4th ed. Pearson, 2001, pp. 29–62. ISBN: 9780137915750.

Lewkowicz, David J., and Asif A. Ghazanfar. “The Emergence of Multisensory Systems through Perceptual Narrowing.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13, no. 11 (2009): 470–8.

Meltzoff, Andrew N., and Richard W. Borton. “Intermodal Matching by Human Neonates.” Nature 282 (1979): 403–4.

7* Object knowledge

Xu, Fei. “Sortal Concepts, Object Individuation, and Language.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11, no. 9 (2007): 400–6.

Spelke, Elizabeth S., Karen Breinlinger, et al. “Origins of Knowledge.” (PDF - 5.9MB) Psychological Review 99, no. 4 (1992): 605–32.

8* Number

Wynn, Karen. “Addition and Subtraction by Human Infants.” Nature 358 (1992): 749–50.

McCrink, Koleen, and Karen Wynn. “Large-number Addition and Subtraction by 9-Month-Old Infants.” Psychological Science 15, no. 11 (2004): 776–81.

Feigenson, Lisa, Stanislas Dehaene, et al. “Core Systems of Number.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8, no. 7 (2004): 307–14.

9* Statistical learning

Kushnir, Tamar, Fei Xu, et al. “Young Children Use Statistical Sampling to Infer the Preferences of Other People.” Psychological Science 21, no. 8 (2010): 1134–40.

Xu, Fei, and Vashti Garcia. “Intuitive Statistics by 8-Month-Old Infants.” PNAS 105, no. 13 (2008): 5012–5.

Téglás, Ernő, Edward Vul, et al. “Pure Reasoning in 12-Month-Old Infants as Probabilistic Inference.” Science 332, no. 6033 (2011): 1054–9.

10 Topic seminars/CIM workshops: social cognition and brain disorders  
11 Topic seminars/CIM workshops: empathy and morality  
12 Topic seminars/CIM workshops: music cognition, perception, and attention  
13 Topic seminars/CIM workshops: education and learning  
14 Topic seminars/CIM workshops: language, imagination, pretend play, and religion  
15 Poster session groups A/B  
16* Computational models of cognitive development/spatial navigation  
17* Concepts Gelman, Susan A., and Henry M. Wellman. “Insides and Essences: Early Understandings of the Non-obvious.” Cognition 38, no. 3 (1991): 213–44.

Carey, Susan. “Some Preliminaries.” Chapter 1 in The Origins of Concepts. Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9780199838806. [Preview with Google Books]

18* Causal reasoning

Schulz, Laura. “The Origins of Inquiry: Inductive Inference and Exploration in Early Childhood.Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16, no. 7 (2012): 382–9.

Saxe, R., and S. Carey. “The Perception of Causality in Infancy.” Acta Psychologica 123, no. 1–2 (2006): 144–65.

19* Agents and goals

Gergely, György, and Gergely Csibra. “Teleologial Reasoning in Infancy: The Naïve Theory of Rational Action.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7, no. 7 (2003): 287–92.

Buy at MIT Press Woodward, Amanda L., Jessica A. Sommerville, and José J. Guajardo. “How Infants make Sense of Intentional Action.” In Intentions and Intentionality: Foundations of Social Cognition. Edited by Bertram F. Malle, Louis J. Moses, and Dare A. Baldwin. The MIT Press, 2001, pp. 149–69. ISBN: 9780262133869. [Preview with Google Books]

20* Theory of mind

Baillargeon, Renée, Rose M. Scott, et al. “False-belief Understanding in Infants.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14, no. 3 (2010): 110–8.

Wellman, Henry M., David Cross, et al. “Meta-analysis of Theory of Mind Development: The Truth about False Belief.” Child Development 72, no. 3 (2001): 655–84.

Gopnik, Alison. “How we know our Minds: The Illusion of First-person Knowledge of Intentionality.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16, no. 1 (1993): 1–14.

21* Autism

Elsabbagh, Mayada, and Mark H. Johnson. “Getting Answers from Babies about Autism.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14, no. 2 (2010): 81–7.

Senju, Atsushi, Victoria Southgate, et al. “Mindblind Eyes: An Absence of Spontaneous Theory of Mind in Asperger Syndrome.” Science 325, no. 5942 (2009): 883–5.

22* Word learning

Waxman, Sandra R., and Susan A. Gelman. “Early Word Learning Entails Reference, not Merely Associations.” Trends in Cognitive Science 13, no. 6 (2009): 258–63.

Smith, Linda B., Susan S. Jones, et al. “Object Name Learning Provides On-The-Job Training for Attention.” Psychological Science 13, no. 1 (2002): 13–9.

Xu, Fei, and Joshua B. Tenenbaum. “Sensitivity to Sampling in Bayesian Word Learning.” Developmental Science 10, no. 3 (2007): 288–97.

23* Language

Cattell, Ray. “Do We Teach Children to Speak?” Chapter 3 in Children’s Language: Consensus and Controversy. Cassell Academic, 2000, pp. 30–43. ISBN: 9780304706815.

———. “Do We Help Children to Speak?” Chapter 7 in Children’s Language: Consensus and Controversy. Cassell Academic, 2000, pp. 104–28. ISBN: 9780304706815.

Gertner, Yael, Cynthia Fisher, et al. “Learning Words and Rules: Abstract Knowledge of Word Order in Early Sentence Comprehension.” Psychological Science 17, no. 8 (2006): 684–91.

24* Moral reasoning

Killena, Melanie, Kelly Lynn Mulveya, et al. “The Accidental Transgressor: Morally-relevant Theory of Mind.” Cognition 119, no. 2 (2011): 197–215.

Hamlin, J. Kiley, Karen Wynn, et al. “Social Evaluation by Preverbal Infants.” Nature 450 (2007): 557–9.

25* Imagination and pretend play

Taylor, Marjorie, Bridget S. Cartwright, et al. “A Developmental Investigation of Children’s Imaginary Companions.” Developmental Psychology 29, no. 2 (1993): 276–85.

Buchsbaum, Daphna, Sophie Bridgers, et al. “The Power of Possibility: Casual Learning, Counterfactual Reasoning, and Pretend Play.” Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society B 367, no. 1599 (2012): 2202–12.

26 Poster session groups C/D  

*Daily mini-lecture session

Course Info

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Fall 2012
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