Young infants' perception of unity and form in occlusion displays.

Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.12). 03/2002; 81(3):358-74. DOI: 10.1006/jecp.2002.2657
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Young infants have been reported to perceive the unity of a center-occluded object when the visible ends of the object are aligned and undergo common motion but not when the edges of the object are misaligned (Johnson & Aslin, 1996). Using a recognition-based paradigm, the authors investigated the possibility that past research failed to provide sufficiently sensitive assessments of infants' perception of the unity of misaligned edges in partial occlusion displays. Positive evidence was obtained in 4-month-olds for veridical perception of the motion and location of a hidden region but not its orientation, whereas 7-month-olds, in contrast to the younger infants, appeared to respond to the orientation of the hidden region. Overall, the results suggest that habituation designs tapping recognition processes may be particularly efficacious in revealing infants' perceptual organization. In addition, the findings provide corroborative evidence for the importance of both motion and orientation in young infants' object segregation and for the difficulty in achieving percepts of the global form of a partly occluded object.

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