The origins of pictorial competence

Judy S. DeLoache*, Sophia L. Pierroutsakos, David H. Uttal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Pictorial competence, which refers to the many factors involved in perceiving, interpreting, understanding, and using pictures, develops gradually over the first few years of life. Although experience is not required for accurate perception of pictures, it is necessary for understanding the nature of pictures. Infants initially respond to depicted objects as if they were real objects, and toddlers are remarkably insensitive to picture orientation. Only gradually do young children figure out the nature of pictures and how they are used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Picture perception
  • Symbolic development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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