Institut Jean Nicod

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Anna Shusterman (Wesleyan University)

Vendredi 22 avril 2016 de 11h30 à 13h30 - Conjointement avec le Groupe de travail  "Philosophie Expérimentale"

Institut Nicod, ENS, Pavillon Jardin, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris

Anna Shusterman (Wesleyan University)

"The Language/Thought Interface in Development: The Cases of Space and Number"


How do language and thought influence each other during development? Drawing on the cases of spatial and numerical cognition, I will discuss recent work from my lab exploring this question. For both cases, I will show evidence of previously unreported correlations between these two domains that raise questions about the mechanisms through which language and cognition become linked. In the case of space, I will focus on three studies exploring the hypothesis that acquiring frame-of-reference terms (left-right, north-south) causally affects spatial representation in three distinct populations. In the case of number, I will focus on the relationship between nonverbal representation of magnitudes and the acquisition of verbal counting. These studies suggest that language acquisition is deeply tied to the development of non-verbal conceptual systems for representing space and number, raising new questions and hypotheses about the roots of this relationship.