Scale Errors Offer Evidence for a Perception-Action Dissociation Early in Life

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Science  14 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5673, pp. 1027-1029
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093567

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We report a perception-action dissociation in the behavior of normally developing young children. In adults and older children, the perception of an object and the organization of actions on it are seamlessly integrated. However, as documented here, 18- to 30-month-old children sometimes fail to use information about object size and make serious attempts to perform impossible actions on miniature objects. They try, for example, to sit in a dollhouse chair or to get into a small toy car. We interpret scale errors as reflecting problems with inhibitory control and with the integration of visual information for perception and action.

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