Gaze shifting in infancy: A longitudinal study using dynamic faces and abstract stimuli
SourceInfant Behavior and Development, 27, 3, (2004), pp. 397-416
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
Infant Behavior and Development
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Disengaging from and shifting gaze to a salient stimulus is a prerequisite for early exploration and communication. The efficiency of disengagement increases during the first few months after birth. Little is known about the effect of stimulus characteristics on disengagement during the different stages of its development. Twenty infants were studied longitudinally between 6 and 26 weeks of age. The frequency and latency of gaze shifts to peripheral targets were measured in a competition and a non-competition situation. The stimuli were a short video of the baby's mother's face and an abstract video, both appearing as central stimulus or peripheral target. In the competition condition, infants were more likely to shift their gaze when the central stimulus was a face and the peripheral target was abstract. They moved their gaze least frequently and with greater latency in the opposite condition (abstract–face). Disengagement developed rapidly between 6 and 22 weeks of age. Differences between stimulus combinations were most marked between 10 and 18 weeks.
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