Mandler, J. M. (1992). How to build a baby II: Conceptual primitives.
Psychological Review, 99, 587-604.
A mechanism of perceptual analysis by which infants derive meaning from
perceptual activity is described. Infants use this mechanism to
redescribe perceptual information into image-schematic format.
Image-schemas create conceptual structure from the spatial structure of
objects and their movements, resulting in notions such as animacy,
inanimacy, agency, and containment. These earliest meanings are
nonpropositional, analogical representations grounded in the perceptual
world of the infant. In contrast to most perceptual processing, which
is not analyzed in this fashion, redescription into image-schematic
form simplifies perceptual information and makes it potentially
accessible for purposes of concept formation and thought. In addition
to enabling preverbal thought, image-schemas provide a foundation for
language acquisition by creating an interface between the continuous
processes of perception and the discrete nature of language.
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