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Childrens Understanding and Perception of Ambiguous Figures?

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Presentation on theme: "Childrens Understanding and Perception of Ambiguous Figures?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Childrens Understanding and Perception of Ambiguous Figures?

2 Learning Objectives Explain what an ambiguous figure is and give examples of different types. Explain the two major theories of perceptual reversal and assess the relative contributions of each. Discuss how the ability to experience perceptual reversals may/or may not be related to an ability to understand multiple representations. Discuss implications of Gopniks findings (both papers) for atypical populations such as autism.

3 What are ambiguous figures? Content Perspective Figure-ground

4 Why do ambiguous figures reverse? Neural Satiation- Fatiguing of the neural process responsible for one perception leads to its end, and then the process for the alternative representation occurs. Top-down knowledge-The persons knowledge of the two alternative percepts and their knowledge of the reversibility of the figure cause reversals.

5 Successive colour contrast

6 Support for Bottom-up theories Studies using selective–adaptation paradigm Number of reversals reported increases over a time period of continuous viewing

7 Selective–adaptation paradigm (Long, Toppino, Mondin, 1992)

8 Relationship between time and reversals reported (Toppino & Long, 1987)

9 Support for Top-down theories Number of reversals reported are affected by the instructions given Uninformed subjects fail to reverse ambiguous figures

10 Instructions affect perception (Seth & Reddy,1979; Liebert & Burk, 1985)

11 Failure to reverse ambiguous figures by uninformed subjects. (Rock and Mitchener, 1992)

12 Do young children reverse ambiguous figures? Procedure -Report on initial perceptions -Informing children of alternative perception -Report on perception once informed

13 Summary of findings Rock, Gopnik, & Hall 1994 1.) Found 3-4 year olds had difficulty reversing ambiguous figures even when informed 2.) The number of spontaneous reversals tends to increase with age.

14 Follow-up study (Gopnik and Rosati, 2001) 1.) When does the ability to perceive reversals develop? 2.) How does the ability to perceive reversals relate to more abstract knowledge about multiple representations?

15 Gopnik and Rosati (2001) argue: Ambiguous figures involve multiple perceptual representations of the same object. Research has demonstrated that understanding multiple representations is quite difficult for young children.

16 Unexpected transfer test Children under age 5 fail the Maxi task. (Wimmer & Perner,1983)

17 Deceptive box test Between ages 3-5 children begin to understand different people hold different beliefs, and that their own beliefs may change. (Gopnik and Astington, 1988)

18 Droodle task By age 6 children appreciate that someone who shares their same visual perspective may interpret information differently (Taylor, 1988).

19 What is the relationship between perceiving ambiguous figures and understanding multiple representations? Gopnik and Rosati (2001) 1.) The ability to experience reversals might develop earlier than an abstract understanding of multiple representations 2.) The ability to perceive reversals might first require a more general understanding of multiple representations (Top-down explanation)

20 Method Tested 29 (3-5 year olds) Tasks - false belief task - droodle task - ambiguous figures

21 Findings Children only report reversals at about 5 years of age. Children only reported reversals if they had passed false belief tasks. Childrens performance on the droodle task was correlated with their experiencing reversals.

22 Conclusion Supports Top-down explanation The immediate experience of perceptual reversals may rely on a broader understanding of multiple representations (ambiguity).

23 Implications of Gopnik and Rosatis findings for Autism Triad of Impairments (Wing and Gould, 1979) Socialisation, communication, and imagination. TOM Hypothesis of Autism Baron-Cohen, Leslie and Frith (1985) - Individuals with autism fail False-belief

24 Ropar, Mitchell, Ackroyd (2003) Rationale: If individuals with autism have difficulties passing False- belief and Droodle tasks (TOM tasks) And TOM tasks and AF tasks rely on understanding same underlying concept Then individuals with autism who fail TOM tasks will have difficulty on AF task Aim: Present individuals with autism with False-belief, Droodle, & AF tasks

25 Criticisms of Gopnik and Rosatis Method Unreliability of verbal reports of perceptions -failure to report when see reversal -reporting they see reversal when they dont 15 of 21 in Gopnik & Rosatis needed prompting by experimenter pointing to features - leads us to focus on ability to identify alternative rather than report reversals

26 Ropar, Mitchell, & Ackroyd (2003) Stimuli - simple, less familiar, head and tail at opposite ends Subjects- 22 Autism, 25 MLD, 18 Typ. 7-8 yr olds

27 Results Group All FB qs correct Correct on Droodle Saw both Alternatives on both AF Autistic 4516 MLD 171816 Sig (<.01) n.s. FB=false belief AF = Ambiguous figures Provides evidence against Gopnik and Rosatis claim that both TOM tests and reversing AF draw on the same underlying concept.

28 Discussion Why then is AF easier for those with autism? Perhaps the difficulty is not with switching to other representation but acknowledging their earlier interpretation (like Appearance-reality task) However, AF differs as it requires one to interpret the same information in a different way, rather than revise their beliefs (like with App. Reality & TOM) Conclusion: Handling revision of beliefs is difficult for children with autism, while forming multiple representations of a single stimulus is relatively easy.

29 Discussion questions 1.) Which theory of perceiving AF do you agree with more and why? (List and explain your reasons.) 2.) Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: If a child can successfully reverse one type of AF they should be able to reverse other types? (Explain your reasons for your stance); What would a Piagetian or rather a Domain general account of child development think? (List and explain your reasons.) 3.) Are reporting reversals and being able to acknowledge two representations the same thing?

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