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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Understanding of differences in verbal and figurative representations by children 4-6 years old.


In our study we examined the ability to distinguish between verbal and visual representation in preschool children. We developed tasks in which children had to learn new signs denoting different types of representation and then use the new symbols to compare different formats of imagination (inner speech and visual images) in story characters, and then apply these symbols to describe their own representation in solving different tasks. We will present the results of testing children between the ages of 4 and 9, which show that the majority of preschool and school-age children successfully learn the symbols and use them to distinguish verbal representation from visual representation in characters. We will discuss the further development and application of this technique to the study of preschool children’s meta-cognitive abilities. The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 20-013-00698.

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