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ERIC Number: EJ1143839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Learning the Association between a Context and a Target Location in Infancy
Bertels, Julie; San Anton, Estibaliz; Gebuis, Titia; Destrebecqz, Arnaud
Developmental Science, v20 n4 Jul 2017
Extracting the statistical regularities present in the environment is a central learning mechanism in infancy. For instance, infants are able to learn the associations between simultaneously or successively presented visual objects (Fiser & Aslin, 2002; Kirkham, Slemmer & Johnson, 2002). The present study extends these results by investigating whether infants can learn the association between a target location and the context in which it is presented. With this aim, we used a visual associative learning procedure inspired by the contextual cuing paradigm, with infants from 8 to 12 months of age. In two experiments, in which we varied the complexity of the stimuli, we first habituated infants to several scenes where the location of a target (a cartoon character) was consistently associated with a context, namely a specific configuration of geometrical shapes. Second, we examined whether infants learned the covariation between the target location and the context by measuring looking times at scenes that either respected or violated the association. In both experiments, results showed that infants learned the target-context associations, as they looked longer at the familiar scenes than at the novel ones. In particular, infants selected clusters of co-occurring contextual shapes and learned the covariation between the target location and this subset. These results support the existence of a powerful and versatile statistical learning mechanism that may influence the orientation of infants' visual attention toward areas of interest in their environment during early developmental stages. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at:
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A