Infants attend to what happens at the rim when they perceive containment
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SourceInfant Behavior and Development, 28, 4, (2005), pp. 389-406
Article / Letter to editor
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Infant Behavior and Development
A series of experiments revealed that 9- and 12-month-old infants, in contrast to 6-month-olds, paid attention to what was happening at the rim of a container when a block arrived at this opening. The rim of an enclosure marks the boundaries of containment for an object, and thus specifies an important source of information with respect to the event. Infants actually observed a solid block that repeatedly lowered into a container in both the habituation phase and in the test phase. In the test phase, infants looked longer to events showing a block that miraculously passed through the opening, although colliding against the rim on one to three places than to the same event without collision. This effect occurred depending on the number of places on the rim the block collided against and the age of the infant. However longer looking times did not show up when the block collided against a flexible rim, deforming this rim and passed through. Together, these results indicate that infants sample information that is meaningful to the event they see and that it is not the perceptual discrepancy with respect to the habitation phase that drives their looking in the test phase.
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