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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Children struggle beyond preschool-age in a continuous version of the ambiguous figures task
Author(s): Rafetseder, Eva
Schuster, Sarah
Hawelka, Stefan
Doherty, Martin
Anderson, Britt
Danckert, James
Stöttinger, Elisabeth
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Issue Date: 19-Dec-2019
Citation: Rafetseder E, Schuster S, Hawelka S, Doherty M, Anderson B, Danckert J & Stöttinger E (2019) Children struggle beyond preschool-age in a continuous version of the ambiguous figures task. Psychological Research.
Abstract: Children until the age of five are only able to reverse an ambiguous figure when they are informed about the second interpretation. In two experiments we examined whether children’s difficulties would extend to a continuous version of the ambiguous figures task. Children (Experiment 1: 66 3-to 5-year-olds; Experiment 2: 54 4-to-9-year-olds) and adult controls saw line drawings of animals gradually morph – through well-known ambiguous figures – into other animals. Results show a relatively late developing ability to recognize the target animal, with difficulties extending beyond preschool-age. This delay can neither be explained with improvements in theory of mind, inhibitory control, nor individual differences in eye movements. Even the best achieving children only started to approach adult level performance at the age of 9, suggesting a fundamentally different processing style in children and adults.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s00426-019-01278-z
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019 This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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