Orientation-indifferent representation in children's drawings

Aya Saito, Misato Hayashi, Ari Ueno, Hideko Takeshita


Young children occasionally draw rotated figures such as an inverted face; however, little is known about the details of this phenomenon. In this paper, we addressed when and how rotated drawing emerges in normal child development. Study 1 reported that rotated drawings appeared spontaneously in a longitudinal observation of 33 children. The rotation occurred in 6.3% of all representational figures in free drawing trials, whereas 12.5% of representational drawing occurred in imitation task trials, among children 2 years and 11 months to 4 years and 11 months old. To clarify the developmental process in which rotated figures emerge, Study 2 investigated the different ages of children as to whether triggering stimuli cause them to draw rotated images. Rotation occurred more frequently in younger children who begin to produce representational drawing, and they seem to be indifferent to the orientation used in drawing representations. We discuss the reflection of the development of the concept to represent an object as well as the development of spatial cognition by the “viewer-centered“ and “viewpoint-independent“ referential frame in representational space on a picture-plane.


children's drawings, representation, orientation independent, conceptional development, spatial cognition