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Use of configurational geometry for spatial orientation in human infants (homo sapiens).

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Frances Garrad-Cole
  • Adina R. Lew
  • J. Gavin Bremner
  • Christopher J. Whitaker
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Comparative Psychology
Issue number3
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)317-320
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Research with both rats and human infants has found that after inertial disorientation, the geometry of an enclosed environment is used in preference over distinctive featural information during goal localization. Infants (Homo sapiens, 18-24 months) were presented with a toy search task involving inertial disorientation in 1 of 2 conditions. In the identical condition, 4 identical hiding boxes in a rectangular formation were set within a circular enclosure. In the distinctive condition, 4 distinctive hiding boxes were used. Infants searched the goal box and its rotational equivalent significantly more than would be expected by chance in the identical condition, showing that they were sensitive to the geometric configuration of the array of boxes. Unlike the results of studies using a rectangular enclosure, however, in the distinctive condition, infants searched at the correct location significantly more than at other locations.