ERIC Number: ED024437
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967
Reference Count: 0
Memory and "Contingency Analysis" in Infant Learning.
Watson, John S.
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly of Behavior and Development, v13 n1 p55-76 1967
In order to determine if infants possessed contingency awareness and if it were related to a temporal unit, two hypotheses were constructed. (1) Reinforcement of a response would probably lead to emission of that response only if the infant's next response occurred within a period of time during which he could remember the preceding response-reward contingency. (2) At birth, humans are structured for contingency awareness, yet it is undeveloped in infants because of the reduced number and frequency of responses they make which elicit rewarding stimulation from the physical environment. Of thirty-two 13- and 14-week-old infants, 16 were given audio and 16 were given visual stimulation contingent on looking at one of two circles on the ceiling of a bassinet hood during a 2-minute learning session. Of twenty-four 9- and 10-week-old infants, eight were given visual, eight were given audio, and eight were given both types of stimulation for 2 1/2 minutes. The data supported the hypotheses, and results were discussed in terms of memory and learning studies. (JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: Merrill-Palmer Inst., Detroit, MI.
Note: This paper was presented at the Merrill-Palmer Institute Conference on Research and Teaching of Infant Development, Feb. 10-12, 1966.