Article

The development of gaze following and its relation to language. Developmental Science, 8, 535-543

Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195-7920, USA.
Developmental Science (Impact Factor: 3.89). 12/2005; 8(6):535-43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2005.00445.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We examined the ontogeny of gaze following by testing infants at 9, 10 and 11 months of age. Infants (N = 96) watched as an adult turned her head toward a target with either open or closed eyes. The 10- and 11-month-olds followed adult turns significantly more often in the open-eyes than the closed-eyes condition, but the 9-month-olds did not respond differentially. Although 9-month-olds may view others as 'body orienters', older infants begin to register whether others are 'visually connected' to the external world and, hence, understand adult looking in a new way. Results also showed a strong positive correlation between gaze-following behavior at 10-11 months and subsequent language scores at 18 months. Implications for social cognition are discussed in light of the developmental shift in gaze following between 9 and 11 months of age.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Andrew N Meltzoff, Aug 16, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
106 Views
  • Source
    • "Research over the last decades has provided abundant evidence that joint attention is a major milestone of infant social cognition (Moore & Dunham, 1995; Scaife & Bruner, 1975; Tomasello & Carpenter, 2007) because it is essential for social development, language acquisition, imitative learning, and social referencing (Baron-Cohen, 1995; Brooks & Meltzoff, 2005; Moore & Dunham, 1995; Sorce, Emde, Campos, & Klinnert, 1985). Research conducted in adults has begun to elucidate the attentional processes and neural mechanisms underlying gaze following and joint attention (Bayliss et al., 2013; Frischen et al., 2007; Lachat, Hugueville, Lemaréchal, Conty, & George, 2012; Redcay, Kleiner, & Saxe, 2012; Schilbach et al., 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Guided by distinct theoretical frameworks (the embodiment theories, shared-signal hypothesis, and appraisal theories), we examined the effects of gaze direction and emotional expressions (joy, disgust, and neutral) of virtual characters on attention orienting and affective reactivity of participants while they were engaged in joint attention for food stimuli contrasted by preference (disliked, moderately liked, and liked). The participants were exposed to videos of avatars looking at food and displaying facial expressions with their gaze directed either toward the food only or toward the food and participants consecutively. We recorded eye-tracking responses, heart rate, facial electromyography (zygomatic, corrugator, and levator labii regions), and food wanting/liking. The avatars' joy faces increased the participants' zygomatic reactions and food liking, with mutual eye contact boosting attentional responses. Eye contact also fostered disgust reactions to disliked food, regardless of the avatars' expressions. The findings show that joint attention for food accompanied by face-to-face emotional communication elicits differential attentional and affective responses. The findings appear consistent with the appraisal theories of emotion. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Biological Psychology 12/2014; 104. DOI:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.12.006 · 3.47 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Communicative behaviors are presented in joint attention episodes between a mother and her infant, in which infants initiate attention for social sharing purposes, respond to behavioral requests, mother and infant give simultaneous attention to the same object or event, and reciprocate one another's behaviors (Tomasello 1995; Reyna and Pickler 2009; Meins et al. 2011). Joint attention skills are implicated in later language development and cognitive functioning (Brooks, and Meltzof 2005). As infants exhibit gaze following skills, they connect vocalizations with objects/events and imitate them. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study applies attachment and transactional theories in evaluating the dyadic interactions observed between a mother and her infant. Infant communication and maternal responsivity are highlighted as the medium for positive interaction.The impact of individualized maternal training on mother infant communicative interaction is proposed to be positive.A sample of three mothers and their infants were observed during 10 min free play sessions before and after a training intervention. The focus of the training was the principles of parenting contained in the Right-from-Birth: a Parenting Series (Grace and Lindsey in Right from birth: a parenting series guide for facilitators, Educational Broadcasting and Early Childhood Institute, Mississippi, 2003) training. A multiple baseline design was used to measure maternal responsiveness to infant communication. Positive and negative maternal responses, as well as the rate of infant communication were also measured.Results showed an increase in positive maternal responses, a decrease in negative maternal responses as well as an increase in the rate of infant communication.These findings underscore the importance of training on correct interpretation of and appropriate maternal responses to infant’s communicative cues, in order to encourage positive mother-infant interactions.
    Child and Youth Care Forum 04/2014; 43(2). DOI:10.1007/s10566-013-9233-y · 1.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "infants reliably follow a person's gaze to an object within their immediate visual field (D'Entremont, Hains, & Muir, 1997), and by 12 months, they follow gaze to targets behind themselves (Deak, Flom, & Pick, 2000) and behind barriers (Moll & Tomasello, 2004). Gaze following is of high interest because it is a fundamental aspect of joint attention and as such has been related to infant information processing (Reid & Striano, 2007) and later language development (Baldwin, 1995; Brooks & Meltzoff, 2005). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In order to disentangle the effects of an adult model's eye gaze and head orientation on infants' processing of objects attended to by the adult, we presented 4-month-olds with faces that either (1) shifted eye gaze toward or away from an object while the head stayed stationary or (2) that turned their head while maintaining gaze directed straight ahead. Infants' responses to the previously attended and unattended objects were measured using eye-tracking and event-related potentials. In both conditions, infants responded to objects that were not cued by the adult's head or eye gaze shift with more visual attention and an increased negative central (Nc) component relative to cued objects. This suggests that cued objects had been encoded more effectively, whereas uncued objects required further processing. We conclude that eye gaze and head orientation act independently as cues to direct infants' attention and object processing. Both head orientation and eye gaze, when presented in motion, even override the effects of incongruent stationary information from the other kind of cue.
    Infancy 01/2014; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/infa.12035 · 1.73 Impact Factor
Show more