Building a knowledge base is a central task of development. Knowledge is the medium over which all cognitive functions operate; it alters perception, directs attention, underlies language comprehension, and supports the ability to derive new thoughts, ideas, and inventions. The apparent ease with which knowledge is acquired, organized, and extended across the life span may lead people to take these abilities for granted. Yet without knowledge, it would be impossible to navigate the world. Consider the example of a daily routine. A typical day begins with a sounding alarm, a signal that would carry no meaning to an individual who lacks a knowledge base. Without an understanding of a clock, an abstract number system, or a notion of time, it would be impossible for the ...

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