Objective spatial coding by 6.5-month-old infants in a visual dishabituation task


Jordy Kaufman Department of Psychology: Experimental, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0086, USA; e-mail: jordy@psych.duke.edu


Forty 6.5-month-old infants were tested in a visual dishabituation variation of Bremner and Bryant’s reaching task used to evaluate the spatial representations of infants. In the visual dishabituation version of this task, infants were habituated to a display in which an object held a constant position at a corner of the table. Following habituation, the object was either moved to the opposite table-corner or nothing on the table was changed. Also, the infant either remained in her starting position or she moved to the opposite side of the table. The results show that, following habituation to an object, infants dishabituated to a change in the actual location of an object and not to a change in the egocentric relationship between the infant and the object. We conclude that even in a landmark-free environment (1)  6.5-month-old infants are capable of representing space allocentrically, and (2)  they have the ability to update their location during passive movement.