July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Exploring the visual sensitivity for topological property in 0-4 day-old newborn infants
Author Affiliations
  • Sarina Hui-Lin Chien
    Graduate Institute of Neural & Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University
  • Yun-Lan Lin
    Graduate Institute of Neural & Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University\nDepartment of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University
  • Wan-Ting Yeh
    Graduate Institute of Neural & Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University\nDepartment of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University
  • Yun Lin
    Graduate Institute of Neural & Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University\nDepartment of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University
  • Hsin-Yueh Hsu
    Graduate Institute of Neural & Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University
  • Bai-Horng Su
    Department of Neonatology, China Medical University Children’s Hospital
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 731. doi:10.1167/13.9.731
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      Sarina Hui-Lin Chien, Yun-Lan Lin, Wan-Ting Yeh, Yun Lin, Hsin-Yueh Hsu, Bai-Horng Su; Exploring the visual sensitivity for topological property in 0-4 day-old newborn infants. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):731. doi: 10.1167/13.9.731.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Introduction: Lines of evidence from adult psychophysics, brain imaging, and honeybee’s behavior have supported the topology theory of visual perception (Chen, 1982). Previously, we tested young infants and found an early sensitivity for topological property around 6 weeks onward. To further explore whether such sensitivity might be innate, here we investigated infants’ discriminability for topological vs. geometrical properties within 4 days after birth.

Methods: The familiarization/visual paired comparison procedures were used. 46 newborns (mean age = 2.1 days) were randomly assigned to one of the three between-subject conditions: a disk vs. a ring (topologically different but geometrically similar), a ring vs. an S-shape (topologically different, total area equated), or a disk vs. a triangle (geometrically different but topologically equivalent). The stimuli were white papers (~20° visual angle) mounted on black cardboard (41cm × 26.5cm). Each trial contained a 30-sec familiarization and a 30-sec test. Infant’s looking was recorded throughout, and novelty preferences were scored trial by trial.

Results: Results (final N=40) showed that in the disk vs. ring condition, neonates (n=14) showed a significant novelty preference for the ring (.57, p=.021) when familiarized with the disk. When familiarized with the ring, they showed a negative preference for the disk (.42, p=.077). In the ring vs. S-shape condition (n=12), infants showed a significant novelty preference for the ring (.58, p=.022) when familiarized with the S-shape. When familiarized with the ring, a slight non-significant preference for the S-shape was found (.54, p=.125). In the disk vs. triangle condition (n=14), no significant preferences were observed in either directions. In sum, an intrinsic preference for the ring might have biased the novelty response; nevertheless, the overall results suggests that the ability to process topological properties seems to be present at birth, at least for the detection of stimuli with or without a hole.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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