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Elizabeth S. Spelke [72]Elizabeth Spelke [36]
  1. Elizabeth S. Spelke, Core Knowledge.
    Human cognition is founded, in part, on four systems for representing objects, actions, number, and space. It may be based, as well, on a fifth system for representing social partners. Each system has deep roots in human phylogeny and ontogeny, and it guides and shapes the mental lives of adults. Converging research on human infants, non-human primates, children and adults in diverse cultures can aid both understanding of these systems and attempts to overcome their limits.
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  2.  55
    Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Lisa Feigenson (2004). Core Systems of Number. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (7):307-314.
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  3.  10
    Elizabeth S. Spelke (1990). Principles of Object Perception. Cognitive Science 14 (1):29--56.
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  4.  16
    Elizabeth Spelke & Hilary Barth (2003). The Construction of Large Number Representations in Adults. Cognition 86 (3):201-221.
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  5. Elizabeth Spelke, Breinlinger S., Macomber Janet Karen & Kristen Jacobson (1992). Origins of Knowledge. Psychological Review 99 (4):605-632.
    Experiments with young infants provide evidence for early-developing capacities to represent physical objects and to reason about object motion. Early physical reasoning accords with 2 constraints at the center of mature physical conceptions: continuity and solidity. It fails to accord with 2 constraints that may be peripheral to mature conceptions: gravity and inertia. These experiments suggest that cognition develops concurrently with perception and action and that development leads to the enrichment of conceptions around an unchanging core. The experiments challenge claims (...)
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  6.  13
    Elizabeth Spelke (1994). Initial Knowledge: Six Suggestions. Cognition 50 (1-3):431-445.
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  7.  5
    Elizabeth Bonawitz, Patrick Shafto, Hyowon Gweon, Noah D. Goodman, Elizabeth Spelke & Laura Schulz (2011). The Double-Edged Sword of Pedagogy: Instruction Limits Spontaneous Exploration and Discovery. Cognition 120 (3):322-330.
  8.  12
    Prentice Starkey, Elizabeth S. Spelke & Rochel Gelman (1990). Numerical Abstraction by Human Infants. Cognition 36 (2):97-127.
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  9. Manuela Piazza, Pierre Pica, Véronique Izard, Elizabeth Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene (2013). Education Enhances the Acuity of the Nonverbal Approximate Number System. Psychological Science 24 (4):p.
    All humans share a universal, evolutionarily ancient approximate number system (ANS) that estimates and combines the numbers of objects in sets with ratio-limited precision. Interindividual variability in the acuity of the ANS correlates with mathematical achievement, but the causes of this correlation have never been established. We acquired psychophysical measures of ANS acuity in child and adult members of an indigene group in the Amazon, the Mundurucú, who have a very restricted numerical lexicon and highly variable access to mathematics education. (...)
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  10.  22
    Hilary Barth, Kristen La Mont, Jennifer Lipton, Stanislas Dehaene, Nancy Kanwisher & Elizabeth Spelke (2006). Non-Symbolic Arithmetic in Adults and Young Children. Cognition 98 (3):199-222.
  11.  13
    Ranxiao Frances Wang & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2002). Human Spatial Representation: Insights From Animals. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (9):376-382.
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  12. Elizabeth S. Spelke & Susan J. Hespos, Conceptual Precursors to Language.
    Because human languages vary in sound and meaning, children must learn which distinctions their language uses. For speech perception, this learning is selective: initially infants are sensitive to most acoustic distinctions used in any language1–3, and this sensitivity reflects basic properties of the auditory system rather than mechanisms specific to language4–7; however, infants’ sensitivity to non-native sound distinctions declines over the course of the first year8. Here we ask whether a similar process governs learning of word meanings. We investigated the (...)
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  13.  42
    Pierre Pica, Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Véronique Izard (2008). Log or Linear? Distinct Intuitions of the Number Scale in Western and Amazonian Indigene Cultures. Science 320 (5880):1217-1220.
    The mapping of numbers onto space is fundamental to measurement and to mathematics. Is this mapping a cultural invention or a universal intuition shared by all humans regardless of culture and education? We probed number-space mappings in the Mundurucu, an Amazonian indigene group with a reduced numerical lexicon and little or no formal education. At all ages, the Mundurucu mapped symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers onto a logarithmic scale, whereas Western adults used linear mapping with small or symbolic numbers and logarithmic (...)
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  14.  13
    Kristina R. Olson & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2008). Foundations of Cooperation in Young Children. Cognition 108 (1):222-231.
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  15.  13
    Linda Hermer & Elizabeth Spelke (1996). Modularity and Development: The Case of Spatial Reorientation. Cognition 61 (3):195-232.
  16. Camilla K. Gilmore, Shannon E. McCarthy & Elizabeth S. Spelke, Symbolic Arithmetic Knowledge Without Instruction.
    Symbolic arithmetic is fundamental to science, technology and economics, but its acquisition by children typically requires years of effort, instruction and drill1,2. When adults perform mental arithmetic, they activate nonsymbolic, approximate number representations3,4, and their performance suffers if this nonsymbolic system is impaired5. Nonsymbolic number representations also allow adults, children, and even infants to add or subtract pairs of dot arrays and to compare the resulting sum or difference to a third array, provided that only approximate accuracy is required6–10. Here (...)
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  17.  2
    Camilla K. Gilmore, Shannon E. McCarthy & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2010). Non-Symbolic Arithmetic Abilities and Achievement in the First Year of Formal Schooling in Mathematics. Cognition 115 (3):394.
  18. Konika Banerjee, Omar S. Haque & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2013). Melting Lizards and Crying Mailboxes: Children's Preferential Recall of Minimally Counterintuitive Concepts. Cognitive Science 37 (7):1251-1289.
    Previous research with adults suggests that a catalog of minimally counterintuitive concepts, which underlies supernatural or religious concepts, may constitute a cognitive optimum and is therefore cognitively encoded and culturally transmitted more successfully than either entirely intuitive concepts or maximally counterintuitive concepts. This study examines whether children's concept recall similarly is sensitive to the degree of conceptual counterintuitiveness (operationalized as a concept's number of ontological domain violations) for items presented in the context of a fictional narrative. Seven- to nine-year-old children (...)
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  19.  6
    Nancy N. Soja, Susan Carey & Elizabeth S. Spelke (1991). Ontological Categories Guide Young Children's Inductions of Word Meaning: Object Terms and Substance Terms. Cognition 38 (2):179-211.
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  20.  5
    Ranxiao Frances Wang & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2000). Updating Egocentric Representations in Human Navigation. Cognition 77 (3):215-250.
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  21. Philip J. Kellman & Elizabeth S. Spelke (1983). Perception of Partly Occluded Objects in Infancy* 1. Cognitive Psychology 15 (4):483–524.
    Four-month-old infants sometimes can perceive the unity of a partly hidden object. In each of a series of experiments, infants were habituated to one object whose top and bottom were visible but whose center was occluded by a nearer object. They were then tested with a fully visible continuous object and with two fully visible object pieces with a gap where the occluder had been. Pattems of dishabituation suggested that infants perceive the boundaries of a partly hidden object by analyzing (...)
     
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  22.  39
    Elizabeth S. Spelke (2003). What Makes Us Smart? Core Knowledge and Natural Language. In Dedre Getner & Susan Goldin-Meadow (eds.), Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought. MIT Press 277--311.
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  23. Jennifer S. Lipton & Elizabeth S. Spelke, Preschool Children's Mapping of Number Words to Nonsymbolic Numerosities.
    Five-year-old children categorized as skilled versus unskilled counters were given verbal estimation and number word comprehension tasks with numerosities 20 – 120. Skilled counters showed a linear relation between number words and nonsymbolic numerosities. Unskilled counters showed the same linear relation for smaller numbers to which they could count, but not for larger number words. Further tasks indicated that unskilled counters failed even to correctly order large number words differing by a 2 : 1 ratio, whereas they performed well on (...)
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  24.  5
    Daniel C. Hyde, Saeeda Khanum & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2014). Brief Non-Symbolic, Approximate Number Practice Enhances Subsequent Exact Symbolic Arithmetic in Children. Cognition 131 (1):92-107.
  25. Stanislas Dehaene, Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica & Elizabeth Spelke (2006). Core Knowledge of Geometry in an Amazonian Indigene Group. Science 311 (5759)::381-4.
    Does geometry constitues a core set of intuitions present in all humans, regarless of their language or schooling ? We used two non verbal tests to probe the conceptual primitives of geometry in the Munduruku, an isolated Amazonian indigene group. Our results provide evidence for geometrical intuitions in the absence of schooling, experience with graphic symbols or maps, or a rich language of geometrical terms.
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  26.  78
    Susan Carey & Elizabeth Spelke (1996). Science and Core Knowledge. Philosophy of Science 63 (4):515 - 533.
    While endorsing Gopnik's proposal that studies of the emergence and modification of scientific theories and studies of cognitive development in children are mutually illuminating, we offer a different picture of the beginning points of cognitive development from Gopnik's picture of "theories all the way down." Human infants are endowed with several distinct core systems of knowledge which are theory-like in some, but not all, important ways. The existence of these core systems of knowledge has implications for the joint research program (...)
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  27.  13
    Ann T. Phillips, Henry M. Wellman & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2002). Infants' Ability to Connect Gaze and Emotional Expression to Intentional Action. Cognition 85 (1):53-78.
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  28.  41
    Elizabeth S. Spelke (2001). Language and Number: A Bilingual Training Study. Cognition 78 (1):45-88.
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  29. Elizabeth S. Spelke, Predictive Reaching for Occluded Objects by 6-Month-Old Infants.
    Infants were presented with an object that moved into reaching space on a path that was either continuously visible or interrupted by an occluder. Infants’ reaching was reduced sharply when an occluder was present, even though the occluder itself was out of reach and did not serve as a barrier to direct reaching for the object. We account for these findings and for the apparently contrasting findings of experiments using preferential looking methods to assess infants’ object representations, by proposing that (...)
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  30. Marc D. Hauser & Elizabeth Spelke (2004). Evolutionary and Developmental Foundations of Human Knowledge. In Michael S. Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences Iii. MIT Press
    What are the brain and cognitive systems that allow humans to play baseball, compute square roots, cook soufflés, or navigate the Tokyo subways? It may seem that studies of human infants and of non-human animals will tell us little about these abilities, because only educated, enculturated human adults engage in organized games, formal mathematics, gourmet cooking, or map-reading. In this chapter, we argue against this seemingly sensible conclusion. When human adults exhibit complex, uniquely human, culture-specific skills, they draw on a (...)
     
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  31.  48
    Stanislas Dehaene, Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica & Elizabeth Spelke (2006). Core Knowledge of Geometry in an Amazonian Indigene Group. Science 3115759:381-384.
    Does geometry constitute a core set of intuitions present in all humans, regardless of their language or schooling? We used two nonverbal tests to probe the conceptual primitives of geometry in the Mundurukú, an isolated Amazonian indigene group. Mundurukú children and adults spontaneously made use of basic geometric concepts such as points, lines, parallelism, or right angles to detect intruders in simple pictures, and they used distance, angle, and sense relationships in geometrical maps to locate hidden objects. Our results provide (...)
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  32.  19
    Sang Ah Lee, Valeria A. Sovrano & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2012). Navigation as a Source of Geometric Knowledge: Young Children's Use of Length, Angle, Distance, and Direction in a Reorientation Task. Cognition 123 (1):144-161.
  33.  66
    Nancy N. Soja, Susan Carey & Elizabeth S. Spelke (1992). Perception, Ontology, and Word Meaning. Cognition 45 (1):101-107.
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  34. Sang Ah Lee & Elizabeth S. Spelke, A Modular Geometric Mechanism for Reorientation in Children.
    Although disoriented young children reorient themselves in relation to the shape of the surrounding surface layout, cognitive accounts of this ability vary. The present paper tests three theories of reorientation: a snapshot theory based on visual image-matching computations, an adaptive combination theory proposing that diverse environmental cues to orientation are weighted according to their experienced reliability, and a modular theory centering on encapsulated computations of the shape of the extended surface layout. Seven experiments test these theories by manipulating four properties (...)
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  35.  9
    Stéphane Gouteux & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2001). Children's Use of Geometry and Landmarks to Reorient in an Open Space. Cognition 81 (2):119-148.
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  36. Elizabeth S. Spelke & Gretchen Van de Walle (1993). Perceiving and Reasoning About Objects: Insights From Infants. In Naomi Eilan, Rosaleen A. McCarthy & Bill Brewer (eds.), Spatial Representation: Problems in Philosophy and Psychology. Blackwell
     
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  37. Maria-Dolores de Hevia & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2009). Spontaneous Mapping of Number and Space in Adults and Young Children. Cognition 110 (2):198-207.
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  38.  38
    Jennifer S. Lipton & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2006). Preschool Children Master the Logic of Number Word Meanings. Cognition 98 (3):57-66.
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  39. Elizabeth S. Spelke, Perceiving Bimodally Specified Events in Infancy.
    Four-month-old infants can perceive bimodally speciiied events. They respond to relationships between the optic and acoustic stimulation that carries information about an object. Infants can do this by detecting the temporal synchrony of an object’s sounds and its optically specified impacts. They are sensitive both to the common tempo and to the simultaneity of such sounds and visible impacts. These findings support the view that intermodal perception depends at least in part on the detection of invariant relationships in patterns of (...)
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  40.  16
    Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica, Elizabeth S. Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene (2008). Exact Equality and Successor Function: Two Key Concepts on the Path Towards Understanding Exact Numbers. Philosophical Psychology 21 (4):491 – 505.
    Humans possess two nonverbal systems capable of representing numbers, both limited in their representational power: the first one represents numbers in an approximate fashion, and the second one conveys information about small numbers only. Conception of exact large numbers has therefore been thought to arise from the manipulation of exact numerical symbols. Here, we focus on two fundamental properties of the exact numbers as prerequisites to the concept of EXACT NUMBERS : the fact that all numbers can be generated by (...)
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  41.  10
    Gaye Soley & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2016). Shared Cultural Knowledge: Effects of Music on Young Children’s Social Preferences. Cognition 148:106-116.
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  42.  63
    Pierre Pica, Véronique Izard, Elizabeth Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene (2011). Flexible Intuitions of Euclidean Geometry in an Amazonian Indigene Group. Pnas 23.
    Kant argued that Euclidean geometry is synthesized on the basis of an a priori intuition of space. This proposal inspired much behavioral research probing whether spatial navigation in humans and animals conforms to the predictions of Euclidean geometry. However, Euclidean geometry also includes concepts that transcend the perceptible, such as objects that are infinitely small or infinitely large, or statements of necessity and impossibility. We tested the hypothesis that certain aspects of nonperceptible Euclidian geometry map onto intuitions of space that (...)
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  43. Sang Ah Lee & Elizabeth S. Spelke, Young Children Reorient by Computing Layout Geometry, Not by Matching Images of the Environment.
    Disoriented animals from ants to humans reorient in accord with the shape of the surrounding surface layout: a behavioral pattern long taken as evidence for sensitivity to layout geometry. Recent computational models suggest, however, that the reorientation process may not depend on geometrical analyses but instead on the matching of brightness contours in 2D images of the environment. Here we test this suggestion by investigating young children's reorientation in enclosed environments. Children reoriented by extremely subtle geometric properties of the 3D (...)
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  44. Elizabeth S. Spelke, Sex Differences in Intrinsic Aptitude for Mathematics and Science?
    This article considers 3 claims that cognitive sex differ- ences account for the differential representation of men and women in high-level careers in mathematics and sci- ence: (a) males are more focused on objects from the beginning of life and therefore are predisposed to better learning about mechanical systems; (b) males have a pro- file of spatial and numerical abilities producing greater aptitude for mathematics; and (c) males are more variable in their cognitive abilities and therefore predominate at the upper (...)
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  45. Elizabeth S. Spelke (1985). Perception of Unity, Persistence, and Identity: Thoughts on Infants' Conceptions of Objects. In Jacques Mehler & R. Fox (eds.), Neonate Cognition: Beyond the Blooming Buzzing Confusion. Lawrence Erlbaum 89--113.
     
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  46. Elizabeth S. Spelke (2011). Natural Number and Natural Geometry. In Stanislas Dehaene & Elizabeth Brannon (eds.), Space, Time and Number in the Brain. Oxford University Press 287--317.
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  47.  23
    Justin N. Wood & Elizabeth S. Spelke (2005). Chronometric Studies of Numerical Cognition in Five-Month-Old Infants. Cognition 97 (1):23-39.
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  48.  96
    Elizabeth S. Spelke (1985). Object Permanence in Five-Month-Old Infants. Cognition 20 (3):191-208.
    A new method was devised to test object permanence in young infants. Fivemonth-old infants were habituated to a screen that moved back and forth through a 180-degree arc, in the manner of a drawbridge. After infants reached habituation, a box was centered behind the screen. Infants were shown two test events: a possible event and an impossible event. In the possible event, the screen stopped when it reached the occluded box; in the impossible event, the screen moved through the space (...)
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  49. Daniel C. Hyde & Elizabeth S. Spelke, All Numbers Are Not Equal: An Electrophysiological Investigation of Small and Large Number Representations.
    & Behavioral and brain imaging research indicates that human infants, humans adults, and many nonhuman animals represent large nonsymbolic numbers approximately, discriminating between sets with a ratio limit on accuracy. Some behavioral evidence, especially with human infants, suggests that these representations differ from representations of small numbers of objects. To investigate neural signatures of this distinction, event-related potentials were recorded as adult humans passively viewed the sequential presentation of dot arrays in an adaptation paradigm. In two studies, subjects viewed successive (...)
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  50.  14
    Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica, Danièle Hinchey, Stanislas Dehane & Elizabeth Spelke (2011). Geometry as a Universal Mental Construction. In Stanislas Dehaene & Elizabeth Brannon (eds.), Space, Time and Number in the Brain. Oxford University Press
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