Infants perceive human point-light displays as solid forms
Moore, D., Goodwin, Julia E., George, R., Axelsson, Emma L. and Braddick, Fleur M.B. 2007. Infants perceive human point-light displays as solid forms. Cognition. 104 (2), pp. 377-396.
|Authors||Moore, D., Goodwin, Julia E., George, R., Axelsson, Emma L. and Braddick, Fleur M.B.|
While five-month-old infants show orientation-specific sensitivity to changes in the motion and occlusion patterns of human point-light displays, it is not known whether infants are capable of binding a human representation to these displays. Furthermore, it has been suggested that infants do not encode the same physical properties for humans and material objects. To explore these issues we tested whether infants would selectively apply the principle of solidity to upright human displays. In the first experiment infants aged six and nine months were repeatedly shown a human point-light display walking across a computer screen up to ten times or until habituated. Next, they were repeatedly shown the walking display passing behind an in-depth representation of a table, and finally they were shown the human display appearing to pass through the table top in violation of the solidity of the hidden human form. Both six- and nine-month-old infants showed significantly greater recovery of attention to this final condition. This suggests that infants are able to bind a solid vertical form to human motion. In two further control experiments we presented displays that contained similar patterns of motion but were not perceived by adults as human. Six- and nine-month-old infants did not show recovery of attention when a scrambled display or an inverted human display passed through the table. Thus, the binding of a solid human form to a display in infants only seems to occur for upright human motion. The paper considers the implications of these findings in relation to theories of infants’ developing conceptions of objects, humans and animals.
|Keywords||Biological motion; Animacy; Body concept; Point-light displays; Person-perception; Solidity; Categorisation; Infant cognition; Core knowledge; Cognitive development; Dorsal and ventral streams|
|Journal citation||104 (2), pp. 377-396|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Web address (URL)||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2006.07.007|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||30 Jun 2010|
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