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Orientation effects in the development of linear object tracking in early infancy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/07/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Child Development
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date30/07/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Infants' oculomotor tracking develops rapidly but is poorer when there are horizontal and vertical movement components. Additionally, persistence of objects moving through occlusion emerges at 4 months but initially is absent for objects moving obliquely. In two experiments we recorded eye movements of 32 4-month-old and 32 6-month-old infants (mainly Caucasian-White) tracking horizontal, vertical, and oblique trajectories. Infants tracked oblique trajectories less accurately, but six-month-olds tracked more accurately, such that they tracked oblique trajectories as accurately as 4-month-olds tracked horizontal and vertical trajectories. Similar results emerged when the object was temporarily occluded. Thus, 4-month-olds’ tracking of oblique trajectories may be insufficient to support object persistence, whereas 6-month-olds may track sufficiently accurately to perceive object persistence for all trajectory orientations.