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Infants' sensitivity to correlations between static and dynamic features in a category context.

journal contribution
posted on 2004-09-01, 00:00 authored by David RakisonDavid Rakison

Four experiments with the habituation procedure investigated 14-22-month-olds' ability to attend to correlations between static and dynamic features embedded in a category context. In Experiment 1, infants were habituated to four objects that exhibited invariant relations between moving features and motion trajectory. Results revealed that 14-month-olds did not process any independent features, 18-month-olds processed individual features but not relations among features, and 22-month-olds processed relations among features. In Experiment 2, 14-month-olds differentiated all of the features in the events in a simpler discrimination task. In Experiments 3a and 3b, 22-month-olds failed to show sensitivity to correlations between dynamic and static features in a category context. In Experiment 4, 22-month-olds, but not 18-month-olds, generalized the learned feature-motion relation to a novel instance. The results are discussed in relation to infants' developing ability to attend to correlations, constraints on learning, category coherence, and the development of the animate-inanimate distinction.