ERIC Number: ED158884
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Infants' Responses to Optical Expansion: Avoidance Not Tracking.
Ball, William A.
In this study examining infants' responses to optical expansion, 18 infants between 36 and 61 days old watched expanding shadows that differed in the terminal location of the center of expansion and the number of dimensions undergoing change. Babies consistently rotated their heads upward during expansion of a closed figure when the center of transformation started above their faces and remained there over much of the trial. When the center of change shifted from eye level toward a point below the baby, avoidance (head rotation) was significantly less. Simple horizontal expansion of an open figure was intermediate in its effectiveness. The results are interpreted to mean that infants responded to optical expansion as if they were avoiding an approaching object. Because there were no upward moving contours in the stimulus display, the avoidance could not have been an artifact of tracking. Sensitivity to the apparent path of approach toward or below the face seems to play a key role in determining infants' responses to looming figures. (Author/BD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A