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Detection of geometric, but not topological, spatial transformations in 6- to 12-month-old infants in a visual exploration paradigm

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Journal number1
Volume47
Number of pages12
Pages31-42
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Several theories of spatial orientation propose that the geometry of an environment plays a privileged role in reorientation, relative to relations between individual landmarks. Infants (N = 90) in three age groups (6, 8 1/2, and 12 months) experienced three conditions: topological, geometric, and control. A round room contained four distinctive objects in a rectangular arrangement on the inside periphery. Infants were familiarized to the array prior to a 2-min test period. In the topological condition, two objects were switched. In the geometric condition, the objects were moved to form an irregular quadrilateral. In the control condition, the array remained unchanged. Infants of 8 1/2 months and over visually explored significantly more in the geometric condition only. An initial study with adults found greater visual exploration in both geometric and topological conditions. These results are discussed in the context of current theories of spatial orientation.

Bibliographic note

Lew was lead author; designed study and design specification for program to analyse data; developed novel measures; collaborated on statistical analysis; wrote manuscript. Lew was PI on BBSRC grant (89/S15386) that funded the research. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Psychology