Document Detail

Emerging perception of causality in action-and-reaction sequences from 4 to 6months of age: Is it domain-specific?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22417922     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Two experiments (N=136) studied how 4- to 6-month-olds perceive a simple schematic event, seen as goal-directed action and reaction from 3years of age. In our causal reaction event, a red square moved toward a blue square, stopping prior to contact. Blue began to move away before red stopped, so that both briefly moved simultaneously at a distance. Primarily, our study sought to determine from what age infants see the causal structure of this reaction event. In addition, we looked at whether this causal percept depends on an animate style of motion and whether it correlates with tasks assessing goal perception and goal-directed action. Infants saw either causal reactions or noncausal delayed control events in which blue started some time after red stopped. These events involved squares that moved either rigidly or nonrigidly in an apparently animate manner. After habituation to one of the four events, infants were tested on reversal of the habituation event. Spatiotemporal features reversed for all events, but causal roles changed only in reversed reactions. The 6-month-olds dishabituated significantly more to reversal of causal reaction events than to noncausal delay events, whereas younger infants reacted similarly to reversal of both. Thus, perceptual causality for reaction events emerges by 6months of age, a younger age than previously reported but, crucially, the same age at which perceptual causality for launch events has emerged in prior research. On our second question, animate/inanimate motion had no effect at any age, nor did significant correlations emerge with our additional tasks assessing goal perception or goal-directed object retrieval. Available evidence, here and elsewhere, is as compatible with a view that infants initially see A affecting B, without differentiation into physical or psychological causality, as with the standard assumption of distinct physical/psychological causal perception.
Anne Schlottmann; Elizabeth D Ray; Luca Surian
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental child psychology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1096-0457     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-3-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985128R     Medline TA:  J Exp Child Psychol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
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