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Audrey Wong Kee You, Scott Adler; Anticipatory Eye Movements, Pupil Size Changes, and Long-Term Memory in Infants. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):739. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.739.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Research has demonstrated that young infants can retain event information in memory over the long term. Other studies have demonstrated that they are also capable of forming expectations and exhibiting anticipatory eye movements for the spatial, content, and temporal parameters of future events. Theories have suggested that these abilities highlight our memory’s function of providing a foundation upon which expectations for future events formed. This study aimed to assess this hypothesis by investigating the relation between long-term memory and expectation formation in 3-month-old infants. Infants viewed spatially predictably alternating (left-right) sequences of shapes in which the color content remained invariant on one side but varied on the other; a stimulus sequence for which infants have previously been shown to form an expectation for the specific invariant color content. After a delay of 24 hours, infants were tested with either a change in the invariant colour combination while keeping its spatial location unchanged (color-change condition), a change in the location of the invariant stimuli with the particular color combination remaining unchanged (spatial-change condition), or with no change to any aspect of the sequence (no-change condition). Infants’ level of anticipatory eye movements as well as the latency of reactive eye movements were measured on both test days. Changes in pupil size during encoding on Day 1 and retrieval on Day 2 were also measured. Results indicated that infants discriminated any change in the stimulus sequence on Day 2 relative to Day 1, indicating that they encoded and remembered this information from Day 1. These findings support the theory that visual expectation processes are related to mechanisms of long-term memory in infancy. In addition, this study reveals the potential for assesssing eye movements and pupil size to examine long-term memory mechanisms in infants.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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