Universal ontology: attentive tracking of objects and substances across languages and over development

Cacchione, Trix; Indino, Marcello; Fujita, Kazuo; Itakura, Shoji; Matsuno, Toyomi; Schaub, Simone; Amici, Federica (2014). Universal ontology: attentive tracking of objects and substances across languages and over development. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 38(6), pp. 481-486. Sage 10.1177/0165025414544233

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Previous research has demonstrated that adults are successful at visually tracking rigidly moving items, but experience great difficulties when tracking substance-like ‘‘pouring’’ items. Using a comparative approach, we investigated whether the presence/absence of the grammatical count–mass distinction influences adults and children’s ability to attentively track objects versus substances. More specifically, we aimed to explore whether the higher success at tracking rigid over substance-like items appears universally or whether speakers of classifier languages (like Japanese, not marking the object–substance distinction) are advantaged at tracking substances as compared to speakers of non-classifier languages (like Swiss German, marking the object–substance distinction). Our results supported the idea that language has no effect on low-level cognitive processes such as the attentive visual processing of objects and substances. We concluded arguing that the tendency to prioritize objects is universal and independent of specific characteristics of the language spoken.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Cacchione, Beatrix

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0165-0254

Publisher:

Sage

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Projects:

[UNSPECIFIED] Core knowledge revisited: Effects of fission, fusion and shape transformation on infants’ ability to represent inanimate and animate objects

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sufi Abbaspour Chinjani

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2015 13:48

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2017 06:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0165025414544233

Uncontrolled Keywords:

cross cultural differences, multiple-object tracking, linguistic relativity, object–substance distinction

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.67101

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/67101

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