Infants perceive human point-light displays as solid forms

Moore, Derek G. and Goodwin, Julia E. and George, Rachel and Axelsson, Emma L. and Braddick, Fleur M.B. (2007) ‘Infants perceive human point-light displays as solid forms’, Cognition, 104(2), pp. 377-396. (doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2006.07.007).

Moore, DG (2007) Cognition 104 (2) 377.pdf - Accepted Version
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While five-month-old infants show orientation-specific sensitivity to changes in the motion and occlusion patterns of human point-light displays, it is not known whether infants are capable of binding a human representation to these displays. Furthermore, it has been suggested that infants do not encode the same physical properties for humans and material objects. To explore these issues we tested whether infants would selectively apply the principle of solidity to upright human displays. In the first experiment infants aged six and nine months were repeatedly shown a human point-light display walking across a computer screen up to ten times or until habituated. Next, they were repeatedly shown the walking display passing behind an in-depth representation of a table, and finally they were shown the human display appearing to pass through the table top in violation of the solidity of the hidden human form. Both six- and nine-month-old infants showed significantly greater recovery of attention to this final condition. This suggests that infants are able to bind a solid vertical form to human motion. In two further control experiments we presented displays that contained similar patterns of motion but were not perceived by adults as human. Six- and nine-month-old infants did not show recovery of attention when a scrambled display or an inverted human display passed through the table. Thus, the binding of a solid human form to a display in infants only seems to occur for upright human motion. The paper considers the implications of these findings in relation to theories of infants’ developing conceptions of objects, humans and animals.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Citation: Moore, D.G., Goodwin, J.E., George, R., Axelsson, E., & Braddick, F. (2007). Infants perceive human point-light displays as solid forms. Cognition, 104 (2), 377–396.
Divisions: Schools > Psychology, School of > Institute for Research in Child Development
Depositing User: Derek Moore
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2010 15:40
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2013 13:31

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