ERIC Number: EJ788628
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Do Infants Possess an Evolved Spider-Detection Mechanism?
Rakison, David H.; Derringer, Jaime
Cognition, v107 n1 p381-393 Apr 2008
Previous studies with various non-human animals have revealed that they possess an evolved predator recognition mechanism that specifies the appearance of recurring threats. We used the preferential looking and habituation paradigms in three experiments to investigate whether 5-month-old human infants have a perceptual template for spiders that generalizes to real-world images of spiders. A fourth experiment assessed whether 5-month-olds have a perceptual template for a non-threatening biological stimulus (i.e., a flower). The results supported the hypothesis that humans, like other species, may possess a cognitive mechanism for detecting specific animals that were potentially harmful throughout evolutionary history.
Descriptors: Animals, Infants, Recognition (Psychology), Safety, Models, Experimental Psychology, Visual Stimuli, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A