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ERIC Number: EJ850190
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 83
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
The Eyes Have It: Visual Pop-Out in Infants and Adults
Adler, Scott A.; Orprecio, Jazmine
Developmental Science, v9 n2 p189-206 Mar 2006
Visual search studies with adults have shown that stimuli that contain a unique perceptual feature pop out from dissimilar distractors and are unaffected by the number of distractors. Studies with very young infants have suggested that they too might exhibit pop-out. However, infant studies have used paradigms in which pop-out is measured in seconds or minutes, whereas in adults pop-out occurs in milliseconds. In addition, with the previous infant paradigms the effects from higher cognitive processes such as memory cannot be separated from pop-out and selective attention. Consequently, whether infants exhibit the phenomenon of pop-out and have selective attention mechanisms as found in adults is not clear. This study was an initial attempt to design a paradigm that would provide a comparable measure between infants and adults, thereby allowing a more accurate determination of the developmental course of pop-out and selective attention mechanisms. To this end, we measured 3-month-olds' and adults' saccade latencies to visual arrays that contained either a + among Ls (target-present) or all Ls (target-absent) with set sizes of 1, 3, 5 or 8 items. In Experiment 1, infants' saccade latencies remained unchanged in the target-present conditions as set size increased, whereas their saccade latencies increased linearly in the target-absent conditions as set size increased. In Experiment 2, adults' saccade latencies in the target-present and target-absent conditions showed the same pattern as the infants. The only difference between the infants and adults was that the infants' saccade latencies were slower in every condition. These results indicate that infants do exhibit pop-out on a millisecond scale, that it is unaffected by the number of distractors, and likely have similar functioning selective attention mechanisms. Moreover, the results indicate that eye movement latencies are a more comparable and accurate measure for assessing the phenomenon of pop-out and underlying attentional mechanisms in infants.
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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