How Infants Use Vision for Grasping Objects



The role of vision was examined as infants prepared to grasp horizontally and vertically oriented rods. Hand orientation was measured prior to contact to determine if infants differentially oriented their hands relative to the object's orientation. Infants reached for rods under different lighting conditions. Three experiments are reported in which (1) sight of the hand was removed (N=12), (2) sight of the object was removed near the end of the reach (N=40, including 10 adults), and (3) sight of the object was removed prior to reach onset (N=9). Infants differentially oriented their hand to a similar extent regardless of lighting condition and similar to control conditions in which they could see the rod and hand throughout the reach. In preparation for reaching, infants may use the current sight of the object's orientation, or the memory of it, to orient the hand for grasping; sight of the hand had no effect on hand orientation.