Drawing conclusions about categorization: Perceptual and conceptual information interactively shape naming

Larissa K. Samuelson, Lynn K. Perry, Ann Warrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The debate on perceptual versus conceptual accounts of children’s categorization is still very much at the forefront of recent work in early noun generalization. We examined the integration of perceptual and conceptual information in two experiments with 3-and 4-year-old children that use naming tasks previously claimed by Bloom and Markson (1998) to rely on conceptual information. We found that children’s naming of ambiguous pictorial representations was highly influenced by small manipulations of perceptual information; thus demonstrating that children’s performance always reflects the integration of perceptual and conceptual information. We argue that the data fit best with a view of early categorization as based on a system in which perceptual and conceptual information are fully integrated and co-developing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-712
Number of pages18
JournalCognition, Brain, Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2007

Cite this