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Inferring the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement in 6- and 9-month-old infants


Daum, Moritz M; Vuori, Maria T; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa (2009). Inferring the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement in 6- and 9-month-old infants. Developmental Science, 12(6):854-862.

Abstract

The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement towards an occluded target object. The aperture size of the actor's hand was varied as between-subjects factor. Subsequently, two final states of the grasping movement were presented simultaneously with the occluder being removed. In Experiment 1, the expected final state showed the actor's hand holding a cup in a way that would be expected after the performed grasping movement. In the unexpected final state, the actor's hand held the cup at the side which would be unexpected after the performed grasping movement. Results show that 6- as well as 9-month-olds looked longer at the unexpected than at the expected final state. Experiment 2 excluded an alternative explanation of these findings, namely that the discrimination of the final states was due to geometrical familiarity or novelty of the final states. These findings provide evidence that infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from the aperture size of the actor's hand during the grasp.

Abstract

The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement towards an occluded target object. The aperture size of the actor's hand was varied as between-subjects factor. Subsequently, two final states of the grasping movement were presented simultaneously with the occluder being removed. In Experiment 1, the expected final state showed the actor's hand holding a cup in a way that would be expected after the performed grasping movement. In the unexpected final state, the actor's hand held the cup at the side which would be unexpected after the performed grasping movement. Results show that 6- as well as 9-month-olds looked longer at the unexpected than at the expected final state. Experiment 2 excluded an alternative explanation of these findings, namely that the discrimination of the final states was due to geometrical familiarity or novelty of the final states. These findings provide evidence that infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from the aperture size of the actor's hand during the grasp.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Developmental and Educational Psychology
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:24 Sep 2013 07:14
Last Modified:09 Feb 2024 02:43
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1363-755X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00831.x
PubMed ID:19840041
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