Daum, M., & Gredebäck, G. (2011) The Development of Grasping Comprehension in Infancy: Covert Shifts of Attention Caused by Referential Actions. Experimental Brain Research, 208, 297-307.

An eye tracking paradigm was used to inves- tigate how infants’ attention is modulated by observed goal-directed manual grasping actions. In Experiment 1, we presented 3-, 5-, and 7-month-old infants with a static picture of a grasping hand, followed by a target appearing at a location either congruent or incongruent with the grasping direction of the hand. The latency of infants gaze shift from the hand to the target was recorded and com- pared between congruent and incongruent trials. Results demonstrate a congruency effect from 5 months of age. A second experiment illustrated that the congruency effect of Experiment 1 does not extend to a visually similar mechanical claw (instead of the grasping hand). Together these two experiments describe the onset of covert atten- tion shifts in response to manual actions and relate these findings to the onset of manual grasping.