Is Detecting a Target in a Compound Geometric Shape Influenced by Stimulus Density? A Developmental Study

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We studied the pattern of performance in elementary school children and adults detecting a target in compound geometric shapes. The target was randomly presented at the global, local, or neither level of compound shapes with different elemental density. A significant difference between the pattern of performance in children and adults emerged when the geometric shape was constructed with fewer constituent parts. That is, children showed difficulties in recognizing the global level while adults could efficiently process it. We suggest that global processing continues to develop as children grow older. Also, integration ability could benefit from increasing familiarity with the geometric concepts.

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