ABSTRACT: Three experiments are reported on the development of object categorization skills during the second year of life. Experiment 1 examined whether 14- and 18-month-old infants were capable of performing categorization at the animate/inanimate (A/I) level using a sequential touching task. The 18-month-olds were significantly above chance and the 14-month-olds were also approaching above-chance significance, which is the highest level of inclusiveness ever tested in infancy. In Experiments 2 and 3, 14-month-old infants participated in a sequential touching task in which the part features of animate and inanimate objects were modified, allowing for a test of partonomic (i.e., legs and wheels) vs. taxonomic (i.e., animates and inanimates) categorization. Infants did not favor partonomic categorization, suggesting that A/I categories are not formed solely based on object parts such as legs and wheels.
Infant behavior & development 07/2012; 35(3):584-95. · 1.34 Impact Factor