Perceptual Development: Visual Object Permanence and Identity

Two of our most basic cognitive capacities, and milestones in early cognitive development, are object permanence and object identity. Object permanence refers to the ability to understand that objects continue to exist even when perceptual contact is lost (e.g., recognizing that a favorite rattle still exists even when it is covered with a blanket). Object identity refers to the ability to determine whether an object currently in view is the very same object or a different object than seen before (e.g., deciding whether the rattle currently in view is the very same rattle played with yesterday). Object identity should not be confused with object recognition; these two processes differ in important ways. Object recognition refers to the ability to recognize whether the object currently in ...

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