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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2008

Graphic syntax and representational development


This chapter focuses specifically on the relationships between syntax and cognitive development, particularly representational development. Vinter, Picard and Fernandes promote the take-home message that changes in drawing behaviour during development result from changes in the size of the cognitive units or mental representations used to plan behaviour, and in the capacity to manage part-whole relationships. This hypothesis is first illustrated by reviewing studies in which children's adherence to the graphic rules when they copy elementary or complex figures is assessed. The authors also examine children's syntactical behaviour at a more global level, characterizing the entire drawing sequences built by children when they produce a drawing. Children's graphic strategies appear to reflect how they conceive of the patterns they reproduce. Task constraints (meaning given to the pattern, type of primes used to enhance specific strategies) contribute to modify their syntactical behaviour, but not uniformly throughout development. A three-step developmental model outlined in the first section of the chapter finds further support in studies dealing with procedural and representational flexibility. Finally, the authors report an original perspective on studying syntactical drawing behaviour, where it is shown that this behaviour can be incidentally modified through directed practice in children as well as in adults. By the way, the results reported by Vinter, Picard and Fernandes reveal the extent to which syntax constitutes a flexible component of drawing behaviour.
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Dates et versions

hal-02934419 , version 1 (09-09-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02934419 , version 1


Annie Vinter, Delphine Picard, Viviane Fernandes. Graphic syntax and representational development. Drawing and the Non-Verbal Mind. A Life-Span Perspective, Cambridge University Press, pp.139-158, 2008, 978-0-521-87205-8. ⟨hal-02934419⟩
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