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Swapnaa Jayaraman, Caitlin M. Fausey, Linda B. Smith; Visual statistics of infants’ ordered experiences. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):735. doi: 10.1167/13.9.735.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Human infants are motorically altricial. In the first few months, they basically watch their world from caregiver-determined positions before they can physically engage with their environment by holding and moving objects and themselves. Their experiences are ordered by the development of their sensorimotor systems; their motor abilities being influenced by joint forces of perceiving their environment and acting upon it [1-2]. In this paper, we describe the changing natural statistics of infant visual environments across development. We focus on 1-3 month infants who could not sit independently or hold objects, and 7-9 month old infants who could crawl and manipulate objects. A light-weight head-mounted camera was used to record the views of six younger (3 females, 3 males, average age 1.7 months) and five older infants (2 females, 3 males, average age 8 months) in their natural environment at home. Still images from 44 hours of videos sampled every five seconds were examined for the presence of faces, body parts, objects, and other background features. Results showed that faces, particularly isolated faces (without objects) dominated the views of younger infants, in addition to a lot of ceiling and wall views. In contrast, bare hands, isolated objects within close reach, and floors were prevalent in the view of older infants. The differences in occurrences of the above elements between the infants groups were significant (p<0.001). All theories of visual development recognize that the input matters; and there is much interest in the statistics of those experiences. Our results support the idea that infant visual experiences are ordered by motor development.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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