Objects in Space and Mind: From Reaching to Words

Linda B. Smith, Larissa K. Samuelson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Citations (Scopus)


Cognition, behavior, and development all happen in space, through sensorimotor interactions in a spatial physical world. In his classic theory of the emergence of cognition, Piaget proposed that infant cognition was grounded in these sensorimotor interactions and, indeed, limited by its very sensorimotor nature. One phenomenon that Piaget used to illustrate these ideas was the object concept as manifested in a task that has come to be known as the A‐not‐B task. Infant's perseverative searches for hidden objects in that task suggested object representations tightly tied to the here and now of perceiving and acting. This chapter considers how the spatial perseveration characteristic of babies may play a positive role in keeping track of objects and, indeed, in binding names to objects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Spatial Foundations of Language and Cognition
EditorsKelly S. Mix, Linda B. Smith, Michael Gasser
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780199553242
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2009


  • infancy
  • object permanence
  • object concept
  • spatial perseveration
  • perception‐action

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