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Andrea Facoetti, Luca Ronconi, Laura Franchin, Eloisa Valenza, Simone Gori; THE ATTENTIONAL “ZOOM-LENS” IS ALREADY DEVELOPED IN 8-MONTH-OLD INFANTS. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1059. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/15.12.1059.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The spatial attention mechanisms of orienting and zooming collaborate to properly select relevant visual information from a noisy environment and plan eyes movements. Despite the orienting ability has been extensively studied in infancy, the zooming mechanism –i.e. the ability to distribute the attentional resources to a small or large portion of the visual field – has never been tested before. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the attentional zooming abilities in 8-month-old infants. Saccadic latencies (SLs) were measured at the onset of a visual target displayed at two eccentricities. The size of the more eccentric target was adjusted in order to counteract the effect of cortical magnification. Before the target display, attentional resources were automatically focused (zoom-in) or spread (zoom-out) by using a small or large cue, respectively. Two different cue-target intervals were also employed to measure the time-course of this attentional mechanism. Results showed that infants’ SLs varied as a function of the cue size presenting a clear time-course. Our results demonstrated that infants can rapidly adjust the attentional focus size during a pre-saccadic temporal window. These findings are extremely important to understand the developing cognition and could result in being an early marker for neurodevelopmental disorders associated with attentional zooming dysfunction, such as autism and dyslexia.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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