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Anne D Pick

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., 1963, Cornell University

Institute of Child Development
Room 206A
51 E River Rd


Perceptual development and cognitive processes

My research is concerned with perceptual learning during infancy and early childhood. I am particularly interested in how multisensory experiences guide or promote early perceptual learning.

My colleagues and I are investigating the emergence of joint visual attention during infancy (9-18 months). The achievement of joint visual attention —the coordination of an infant's and parent's gaze toward the same object or event—is significant. It promotes communication and learning and increases the likelihood that infants will engage in joint visual attention. Opportunities to explore previously unfamiliar objects also promotes subsequent joint visual attention to those objects and by  older infants and their parents.

Another project concerns preschool children's categorization of objects and object representations (i.e., drawings or photographs). We are investigating the role of functional properties of objects and of exploratory activity in how children classify objects. We are finding that when there is perceptual information about  objects' functions, obtained through exploration, children spontaneously categorize objects on the basis of those functions. Young children can also systematically categorize objects (but not representations) in multiple ways. Our goal is to understand the development of this flexibility during the preschool years.

Selected Publications

  1. Recent Publications

    Flom, R. & Pick, A.D. (2005).  Experimenter affective expression and gaze following in 7-month-olds.  Infancy, 7, 207-218.

    Flom, R., Deak, G.O., Phill, C.G., & Pick, A.D. (2004).  Effects of age, reminders, and task difficulty on young children’s rule-switching flexibility.  Cognitive Development, 19, 385-400.

    Flom, R., & Pick, A.D. (2003).  Verbal encouragement and joint attention in 18-month-old infants.  Infant Behavior and Development, 26, 121-134.

    Deak, G.O., Ray, S.D., & Pick, A.D. (2002).  Matching and naming objects by shape or function:  Age and context effects in preschool children.  Developmental Psychology, 388, 503-518.

    Gibson, E. J., & Pick, A. D. (2000). An ecological approach to perceptual learning and development. New York: Oxford University Press.