Abstract

Prior data have revealed striking contrasts between 18 and 24-month-old children in place learning, an ability knownto dependon the hippo campus(Newcombe, Huttenlocher, Drummey, & Wiley, 1998). The current research examined the development of three other basic abilities of mature spatial competence: the representation of multiple locations, the learning of relations among objects, and the recall of a single location after a substantial filled delay. Results indicated a transition from 18 to 24 months in all three abilities. This evidence supports a general transition in spatial representation that occurs towards the end of infancy. Existing neurobehavioral data suggest that a corresponding change in hippocampal functioning underlies this development.

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