Infant and adult visual attention during an imitation demonstration.
Bottom Line: Infants aged 6, 9, and 12 months, and an adult comparison group, watched a video of a puppet imitation demonstration while visual behavior was recorded on an eye tracker.In contrast, adults directed their gaze primarily to the puppet.When infants were tested for their behavioral recall of the target actions, "imitators" were shown to have increased attention to the person and decreased attention to the background compared to "non-imitators." These results suggest that attention during learning is related to memory outcome and that changes in attention may be one mechanism by which manipulations to the learning event may enhance infant recall memory.
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Two videos were created for use during the learning phase. The experimental video (75 s in duration) featured a female adult demonstrating a series of target actions on a gray rabbit hand puppet while standing in front of a distinctive background (see Fig. 1a). The puppet (27 cm × 30 cm) featuring on the video had a matching gray mitten placed over its right hand (8 cm × 9 cm) which could be removed (see Barr et al., 1996). The same puppet was presented during the behavioral recall session. The yellow and green polka dot background was made from material and adapted from that used by Meltzoff and colleagues (Barnat, Klein, & Meltzoff, 1996; Klein & Meltzoff, 1999). This background functioned as a distinctive feature for use in the recognition memory test.
Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.