The Development of Infants' Expectations for Event Timing
Comishen, Kyle Joseph
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The ability to process and incorporate temporal information into behaviour is necessary for functioning in our environment. While previous research has extended adults temporal processing capacity onto infants, little research has examined young infants capacity to incorporate temporal information into their behaviours. The present study examined 3- and 6-month-old infants ability to process temporal durations of 700 and 1200 milliseconds by means of an eye tracking cueing task. If 3- and 6-month-old infants can discriminate centrally-presented temporal cues, then they should be able to correctly make anticipatory eye movements to the location of succeeding targets at a rate above chance. The results indicated that 6-, but not 3-month-old infants were able to successfully discriminate and incorporate temporal information into their visual expectations of predictable temporal events. Brain maturation and the emergence of functional significance for processing temporal events on the scale of hundreds of milliseconds may account for these findings.