The Development of Categorization

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00001950
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 19, 2000
Last Update Posted : September 13, 2018
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

It is commonly believed that objects in the world can be categorized in at least three different ways or levels. The three levels are basic, superordinate, and subordinate. Previously it was believed that basic categorization presents a cognitive (mental) advantage to children's development. However, recent studies on superordinate categorization has challenged this belief.

  1. <TAB>Items in superordinate are grouped according to functional purpose, even though they may not share any similarities in how they look (perception). For instance, desks, chairs, and beds do not appear similar but they can be group together in the superordinate category of furniture.
  2. <TAB>Items in basic categorization share similarities in function and in perception. For instance, chairs can be considered as a basic category. Chairs can share functional and perceptual similarities with many kinds of chairs but are readily distinguished from other types of furniture like beds or desks.
  3. <TAB>Subordinate categories are subsets of basic categories. For instance, kitchen chairs, desk chairs, and high chairs, are all within the basic category of chairs. Each one is very similar in it's function to the others but is definitely discriminable.

This study was developed to investigate the development of categorization at all three levels by using a design in which children between the ages of 1 and 3 years are tested for categorization at all three levels with sets of objects from the same domain (such as vehicle or fruit). Researchers plan to chart when infants develop categorization at the basic, subordinate, and superordinate levels over the two-year period.<TAB>...

Condition or disease
Cognition Disorder Healthy

Detailed Description:

The major objective of this research is to better understand the functional significance of object categorization in early development. The proposed work is designed to examine the emergence of organization in toddlers internal representations of real-world categories such as furniture and fruit. Representation, in this capacity, refers simply to stored information that can influence later behavior. Categorization refers to the treatment of discriminable as equivalent in some way.

Even young infants appear capable of categorizing diverse sets of discriminable patterns and objects, and can form internal representations of such bounded collections. Much less is known, however, about changes leading from this basic capacity to the highly structured concepts that are characteristics of children s and adults category knowledge. The present research is designed to characterize the course of these changes between infancy and childhood.

The primary research strategy to be used consists of analyzing toddlers examination and manipulation of familiar objects that are similar within adult-defined categories than between such categories. The organization and temporal structure of children s actions on the objects will be coded and analyzed to infer the similarity relations that are perceived among of each stimulus set.

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 219 participants
Official Title: The Development of Categorization
Study Start Date : December 14, 1999
Study Completion Date : May 23, 2012

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   1 Year to 3 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Infants must be healthy.

Normal pregnancy/delivery status, term birth (plus or minus 14 days from due date), and no evidence of subsequent visual impairments or neurological disorders.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00001950

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Principal Investigator: Marc H Bornstein, Ph.D. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Publications: Identifier: NCT00001950     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 000035
First Posted: January 19, 2000    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 13, 2018
Last Verified: May 23, 2012

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cognition Disorders
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders