Planning in Human Children (Homo sapiens) Assessed by Maze Problems on the Touch Screen

Hiromitsu Miyata, Shoji Itakura, Kazuo Fujita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors examined how human children perform on maze tasks on the touch screen and whether the children plan the solution of the mazes. In Experiment 1, the authors exposed children around 3 years of age to a maze having an L-shaped line as a barrier that can be solved by moving an illustration of a dog (the target) to that of a bone (the goal) with their fingers. The participants successfully solved the maze by taking efficient routes more frequently than chance, although the authors found no evidence that a preview of the maze before starting to solve the task facilitated their performance. In Experiment 2, using a plus-shaped maze, the authors found that 3- and 4-year-old children plan and adjust their moves while solving the maze, with 4-year-olds showing more advanced and higher-level planning than 3-year-olds. Similarity of these results to what the authors previously found in pigeons tested in the same tasks may suggest an analogy for planning capacity in the behavioral level across taxa and developmental stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Feb 1

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Keywords

  • development
  • human children
  • maze
  • planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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