The development of symbolic coordination: Representation of imagined objects, executive function, and theory of mind Article

Dick, AS, Overton, WF, Kovacs, SL. (2005). The development of symbolic coordination: Representation of imagined objects, executive function, and theory of mind . 6(1), 133-161. 10.1207/s15327647jcd0601_8

cited authors

  • Dick, AS; Overton, WF; Kovacs, SL

fiu authors

abstract

  • Children's developing competence with symbolic representations was assessed in 3 studies. Study 1 examined the hypothesis that the production of imaginary symbolic objects in pantomime requires the simultaneous coordination of the dual representations of a dynamic action and a symbolic object. We explored this coordination of symbolic representations in 3- to 5-year-olds with a modified action pantomime task that employed both a "dynamic action + object" condition and a "hold + object" condition. Consistent with earlier research, production of imaginary symbolic objects rather than body-part-as-objects increased with age, although, even at age 5, children did not perform at adult levels. As hypothesized, children produced fewer body-part-as-object anchors when they were simply asked to hold an object, rather than perform a dynamic action with the object. Study 2 repeated the conditions of Study 1 and examined these conditions in relation to performance on the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task. This study replicated the developmental findings of the earlier study and indicated a modest relation between pantomime and the DCCS, which disappeared with age partialled out. Study 3 examined the action pantomime task in relation to the DCCS, false belief, and appearance-reality with 3- to 5-year-olds. Though performance on the DCCS was related to theory of mind, production of imaginary symbolic objects in pantomime was not strongly related to theory of mind or the DCCS. Results are discussed in terms of children's developing reflective competence in coordinating symbolic representations. Copyright © 2005, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

publication date

  • December 1, 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 133

end page

  • 161

volume

  • 6

issue

  • 1