Infant and adult perceptions of possible and impossible body movements: an eye-tracking study

Morita, Tomoyo, Slaughter, Virginia, Katayama, Nobuko, Kitazaki, Michiteru, Kakigi, Ryusuke and Itakura, Shoji (2012) Infant and adult perceptions of possible and impossible body movements: an eye-tracking study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113 3: 401-414. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2012.07.003

Author Morita, Tomoyo
Slaughter, Virginia
Katayama, Nobuko
Kitazaki, Michiteru
Kakigi, Ryusuke
Itakura, Shoji
Title Infant and adult perceptions of possible and impossible body movements: an eye-tracking study
Journal name Journal of Experimental Child Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0965
Publication date 2012-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jecp.2012.07.003
Volume 113
Issue 3
Start page 401
End page 414
Total pages 14
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract This study investigated how infants perceive and interpret human body movement. We recorded the eye movements and pupil sizes of 9- and 12-month-old infants and of adults (N. = 14 per group) as they observed animation clips of biomechanically possible and impossible arm movements performed by a human and by a humanoid robot. Both 12-month-old infants and adults spent more time looking at the elbows during impossible compared with possible arm movements, irrespective of the appearance of the actor. These results suggest that by 12. months of age, infants recognize biomechanical constraints on how arms move, and they extend this knowledge to humanoid robots. Adults exhibited more pupil dilation in response to the human's impossible arm movements compared with the possible ones, but 9- and 12-month-old infants showed no differential pupil dilation to the same actions. This finding suggests that the processing of human body movements might still be immature in 12-month-olds, as they did not show an emotional response to biomechanically impossible body movements. We discuss these findings in relation to the hypothesis that perception of others' body movements relies upon the infant's own sensorimotor experience.
Keyword Biomechanical constraints
Body movement
Infant cognition
Pupil size
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 17 August 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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