|Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2004), 27:5:707-708 Cambridge University Press|
Copyright © 2005 Cambridge University Press
Is the concept of object still a suitable notion?
The model and framework presented in the target article by Thelen et al. is an interesting effort that is able to account for the contextual variability in the A-not-B performance of 7–12-month-old infants. In the process of developing their framework, the authors discounted the concept of object as a useful notion in discussions of A-not-B performance. For Piaget and other developmentalists, the main evidence for the acquisition of the concept of object was the disappearance of A-not-B errors after age 12 months. However, the Thelen et al. model makes predictions of A-not-B outcomes over a much shorter, trial-to-trial time scale. Given the mismatch in the time scales over which analyses in the two approaches have been based, we wonder if the challenge to the concept of object has been misplaced.