Shuwairi, Sarah M., Albert, Marc K. and Johnson, Scott P.
Discrimination of possible and impossible objects in infancy
Psychological Science, 18, (4), . (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01893.x).
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Adults can use pictorial depth cues to infer three-dimensional structure in two-dimensional depictions of objects. The age at which infants respond to the same kinds of visual information has not been determined, and theories about the underlying developmental mechanisms remain controversial. In this study, we used a visual habituation/novelty-preference procedure to assess the ability of 4-month-old infants to discriminate between two-dimensional depictions of structurally possible and impossible objects. Results indicate that young infants are sensitive to junction structures and interposition cues associated with pictorial depth and can detect inconsistent relationships among these cues that render an object impossible. Our results provide important insights into the development of mechanisms for processing pictorial depth cues that allow adults to extract three-dimensional structure from pictures of objects
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