Infant and adult visual attention during an imitation demonstration

Taylor, Gemma and Herbert, Jane S. (2014) Infant and adult visual attention during an imitation demonstration. Developmental Psychobiology, 56 (4). pp. 770-782. ISSN 0012-1630

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Deferred imitation tasks have shown that manipulations at encoding can enhance infant learning and memory performance within an age, suggesting that brain maturation alone cannot fully account for all developmental changes in early memory abilities. The present study investigated whether changes in the focus of attention during learning might contribute to improving memory abilities during infancy. Infants aged 6, 9, and 12 months, and an adult comparison group, watched a video of a puppet imitation demonstration while visual behavior was recorded on an eye tracker. Overall, infants spent less time attending to the video than adults, and distributed their gaze more equally across the demonstrator and puppet stimulus. In contrast, adults directed their gaze primarily to the puppet. When infants were tested for their behavioral recall of the target actions, “imitators” were shown to have increased attention to the person and decreased attention to the background compared to “non-imitators.” These results suggest that attention during learning is related to memory outcome and that changes in attention may be one mechanism by which manipulations to the learning event may enhance infant recall memory.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Developmental Psychobiology
Additional Information:
© 2013 The Authors. Developmental Psychobiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? infantlearningattentionmemorydevelopmental biologybehavioral neurosciencedevelopmental neurosciencedevelopmental and educational psychology ??
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Deposited On:
06 Oct 2014 14:17
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:32