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The contribution of visual and vestibular information to spatial orientation by 6- to 14-month-old infants and adults

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2011
JournalDevelopmental Science
Journal number5
Volume14
Number of pages13
Pages1033-1045
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Although there is much research on infants' ability to orient in space, little is known regarding the information they use to do so. This research uses a rotating room to evaluate the relative contribution of visual and vestibular information to location of a target following bodily rotation. Adults responded precisely on the basis of visual flow information. Seven-month-olds responded mostly on the basis of visual flow, whereas 9-month-olds responded mostly on the basis of vestibular information, and 12-month-olds responded mostly on the basis of visual information. Unlike adults, infants of all ages showed partial influence by both modalities. Additionally, 7-month-olds were capable of using vestibular information when there was no visual information for movement or stability, and 9-month-olds still relied on vestibular information when visual information was enhanced. These results are discussed in the context of neuroscientific evidence regarding visual-vestibular interaction, and in relation to possible changes in reliance on visual and vestibular information following acquisition of locomotion.

Bibliographic note

The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com