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ERIC Number: EJ876031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
The Early Development of Object Knowledge: A Study of Infants' Visual Anticipations during Action Observation
Hunnius, Sabine; Bekkering, Harold
Developmental Psychology, v46 n2 p446-454 Mar 2010
This study examined the developing object knowledge of infants through their visual anticipation of action targets during action observation. Infants (6, 8, 12, 14, and 16 months) and adults watched short movies of a person using 3 different everyday objects. Participants were presented with objects being brought either to a correct or to an incorrect target location (e.g., cup to mouth, phone to ear vs. cup to ear, brush to mouth). When observing the action sequences, infants as well as adults showed anticipatory fixations to the target areas of the displayed actions. For all infant age-groups, there were differences in anticipation frequency between functional and nonfunctional object-target combinations. Adults exhibited no effect of object-target combination, possibly because they quickly learned and flexibly anticipated the target area of observed actions, even when they watched objects being brought to incorrect target areas. Infants, however, had difficulties anticipating to incorrect target locations for familiar objects. Together, these findings suggest that by 6 months of age, infants have acquired solid knowledge about objects and the actions associated with them. (Contains 1 footnote and 5 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands