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By Stephen K. Reed

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In order to obtain more information on what stimulus characteristics cause poor performance in young children, Ghent (1956) presented both an embedded figures task and an overlapping figures task to young children. Since significantly more errors were made on the embedded figures, Ghent concluded that the basic problem was specifying why lines are organized into particular groupings and why the ease of selecting particular groupings changes with age. She suggested that figures are difficult when contours are shared rather than intersect, and that younger children have difficulty in seeing lines simultaneously belonging to more than one figure.

One way of characterizing the objects would be in terms of the brightness levels stored at each point in the retina. Storing such a description would be useless however, since the retina is never stimulated twice in exactly the same way. An alternative way of representing the objects would be as eight straight lines of specified lengths and orienta­ tions, joined at certain points. But since the lines can be grouped to form regions, one can also say that the object is composed of three regions—a square and two parallelograms joined in certain ways.

5. The advantage of retaining the same standard is that it provides the opportunity to learn the particular values for each dimension of the stan­ dard. This facilitates the stimulus processing stage of the model and may result in storing the feature values of the standard in long-term memory. Learning the particular values of the standard is particularly important when comparisons are made sequentially. Pick (1965) found that feature learning was superior for all conditions except the sequential comparison of tactual forms and Aiken (1969) found that learning the standard was superior for the sequential comparison of tones.

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