ERIC Number: EJ810774
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Reference Count: 7
Headed in the Right Direction: A Commentary on Yoshida and Smith
Aslin, Richard N.
Infancy, v13 n3 p275-278 May 2008
Yoshida and Smith (this issue) provide one of the first attempts to overcome the most serious impediment to the use of head-mounted eye trackers with infants: Except in rare cases they are not light enough to be worn on an infant's head, or the infant does not tolerate looking through a half-silvered mirror that is hanging on a rigid stalk directly in front of their eye. Yoshida and Smith reasoned that head direction could serve as a useful, if not definitive, proxy for gaze direction. They first verified that head direction is largely consistent with gaze direction by obtaining an observer-based (not an eye tracker) measure of gaze direction. They then reported how infants direct their head to one of three locations on a table where a parent placed objects and provided visual and vocal cues to those locations. The measure of head direction came from a small head-mounted video camera positioned in the middle of the infant's forehead, thereby providing a first-person view of what the infant was most likely attending to. In this article, the author comments that Yoshida and Smith have certainly headed the field of infant development in the right direction by their clever use of a forehead-mounted camera. Not only have they confirmed the validity of the technique, but they have revealed how 18- to 24-month-olds deploy their visual attention to people and objects in a seminatural behavioral context. This increasing skill implies that with development infants gain greater control over their own perceptual input. The work of Yoshida and Smith highlights how this growing control influences measures of visual attention from the infant's first-person perspective in domains as diverse as language, theory of mind, social referencing, and observational learning.
Descriptors: Photography, Cues, Eye Movements, Attention, Observational Learning, Infants, Videotape Recorders, Human Body, Child Development, Visual Stimuli
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A