Stimulus Matters: Effects of Familiarity versus Novelty
Buonomano, Lisa Cristine
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The ability to suppress a prepotent response is a crucial component of cognition that begins to develop during infancy and peeks during preschool. As part of understanding how one develops inhibitory control, learning about what conditions may help or hurt task performance is of great interest. The purpose of this project was to study the effects of familiarity and novelty on inhibitory control. Thirty-five preschoolers between two and five years of age were tested in four different versions of the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS). Performance was no different among standard, 2D-familiar, and 3D-familiar conditions. When comparing novel with the standard condition, children performed worse (37% and 68% respectively). Findings support the attentional inertia hypothesis. An exploratory analysis on temperament was also investigated. Children who scored higher in effortful control performed better in the 2D-familiar condition.
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