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The Development of Categorization

1 Year
3 Years
Not Enrolling
Cognition Disorder, Healthy

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Trial Information

The Development of Categorization

The major objective of this research is to better understand the functional significance of
object categorization in early development. The proposed work is designed to examine the
emergence of organization in toddlers' internal representations of real-world categories
such as furniture and fruit. Representation, in this capacity, refers simply to stored
information that can influence later behavior. Categorization refers to the treatment of
discriminable as equivalent in some way.

Even young infants appear capable of categorizing diverse sets of discriminable patterns and
objects, and can form internal representations of such bounded collections. Much less is
known, however, about changes leading from this basic capacity to the highly structured
concepts that are characteristics of children's and adults category knowledge. The present
research is designed to characterize the course of these changes between infancy and

The primary research strategy to be used consists of analyzing toddlers' examination and
manipulation of familiar objects that are similar within adult-defined categories than
between such categories. The organization and temporal structure of children's actions on
the objects will be coded and analyzed to infer the similarity relations that are perceived
among of each stimulus set.

Inclusion Criteria


Infants must be healthy.

Normal pregnancy/delivery status, term birth (plus or minus 14 days from due date), and no
evidence of subsequent visual impairments or neurological disorders.

Type of Study:


Study Design:


Principal Investigator

Claude Sportes, M.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:




Start Date:

December 1999

Completion Date:

May 2012

Related Keywords:

  • Cognition Disorder
  • Healthy
  • Cognition
  • Infancy
  • Perception
  • Cognition Disorders



National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Bethesda, Maryland  20892