Eye tracking provides no evidence that young infants understand path obstruction

Bremner, J.G. and Slater, A. and Mason, U. and Spring, J. and Rees, A. and Tham, D.S.Y. and Johnson, S.P. (2021) Eye tracking provides no evidence that young infants understand path obstruction. Infant Behavior and Development, 65: 101659. ISSN 0163-6383

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In two experiments with 47 4-month-olds, we investigated attention to key aspects of events in which an object moved along a partly occluded path that contained an obstruction. Infants were familiarized with a ball rolling behind an occluder to be revealed resting on an end wall, and on test trials an obstruction wall was placed in the ball's path. In Experiment 1, we did not find longer looking when the object appeared in an impossible location beyond the obstruction, and infants did not selectively fixate the object in this location. In Experiment 2, after rolling one or two balls, we measured infants' fixations of a two-object outcome with one ball in a novel but possible resting position and the other in a familiar but impossible location beyond the obstruction. Infants looked longer at the ball in the possible but novel location, likely reflecting a looking preference for location novelty. Thus we obtained no evidence that infants reasoned about obstruction and identified a violation on that basis.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Infant Behavior and Development
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Infant Behavior and Development. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Infant Behavior and Development, 65, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2021.101659
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? eye-trackinginfant knowledgenovelty preferenceobject persistenceobject soliditypath obstructiondevelopmental and educational psychology ??
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Deposited On:
02 Dec 2021 13:55
Last Modified:
12 Feb 2024 00:43