• infant;
  • vision;
  • preferential looking;
  • depth perception;
  • pictorial depth cues


To examine young infants' sensitivity to a pictorial depth cue, we compared monocular and binocular preferential looking to objects of which depth was specified by height-in-the-picture-plane. For adults, this cue generates the perception that a lower object is closer than a higher object. This study showed that 4- and 5-month-old infants fixated the lower, apparently closer, figure more often under the monocular than binocular presentation providing evidence of their sensitivity to the pictorial depth cue. Because the displays were identical in the two conditions except for binocular information for depth, the difference in looking-behavior indicated sensitivity to depth information, excluding a possibility that they responded to 2D characteristics. This study also confirmed the usefulness of the method, preferential looking with a monocular and binocular comparison, to examine sensitivity to a pictorial depth cue in young infants, who are too immature to reach reliably for the closer of two objects. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 56: 109–116, 2014.