Left-Right and Up-Down Mirror Image Confusion in 4-, 5- and 6-Year-Olds


Young children under the age of 8 - 9 years tend to confuse left-right mirror images, and it is thought that their linguistic skills play a crucial role in this phenomenon. However, other aspects of this confusion, such as whether children confuse up-down mirror images or whether the meaningfulness of the stimulus influences matching performance, remain unclear. The present study examined the confusion of left-right and up-down reversed images by 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds using meaningful and meaningless figures in a task in which sample and comparison stimuli were presented simultaneously. Children performed more accurately when presented with meaningful figures and confused both up-down and left-right reversed figures, although they did so less frequently in response to up-down than to left-right reversed figures. Reversal confusion was greatest in 4-year-olds and no significant differences were observed between 5- and 6-year-olds. These findings suggest that the ability to discriminate reversed images may be associated with the development of a wide range of cognitive abilities including theory of mind, executive function, and suggestibility.

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Uehara, I. (2013). Left-Right and Up-Down Mirror Image Confusion in 4-, 5- and 6-Year-Olds. Psychology, 4, 736-740. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.410104.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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