Document Detail

Visual motion processing in one-month-old infants: habituation experiments.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8759468     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The ability of infants to discriminate between opposite directions of motion was examined in infant control habituation experiments. A group of 3-5-week-olds showed no evidence of discrimination between a random-dot pattern which was segregated into regions that moved in opposite directions, and a uniform pattern in which the dots all moved in the same direction. However, they did discriminate between segregated and uniform patterns in two additional conditions, neither of which required sensitivity to direction: in the first of these, segregation was based on the contrast between coherently moving and stationary dots, while in the second the contrast was between coherently and incoherently moving dots. Unlike the younger infants, a slightly older group of 6-8-week-olds proved capable of discriminating between the segregated and uniform patterns when the contrast was between opposite directions of motion. These results confirm and extend the results from preferential looking [Wattam-Bell, J. (1996). Motion processing in one-month-old infants: Preferential looking experiments. Vision Research, 36, 1671-1677]; they suggest that direction discrimination may not emerge until around 6-8 weeks of age. The apparent lack of direction discrimination before 6 weeks may reflect an inability to use directional cues to visually segment the segregated pattern, rather than an insensitivity to direction as such. To examine this, a further set of infants was tested for absolute direction discrimination-i.e., between leftwards- and rightwards-moving uniform patterns. However, in this case neither 3-5- nor 6-8-week-olds showed any evidence of discrimination, which suggests that direction discrimination may first emerge for relative motion. Possible reasons for this are discussed.
J Wattam-Bell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Vision research     Volume:  36     ISSN:  0042-6989     ISO Abbreviation:  Vision Res.     Publication Date:  1996 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-10-03     Completed Date:  1996-10-03     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0417402     Medline TA:  Vision Res     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1679-85     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University College London, U.K.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Discrimination (Psychology) / physiology
Habituation, Psychophysiologic*
Infant Behavior
Infant, Newborn
Motion Perception / physiology*
Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology

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