Abstract

Gredebäck, G. & von Hofsten, C. (2007) Taking an Action Perspective on Infant’s Object Representations. Progress in Brain Research: From Action to Cognition, (C.von Hofsten, & K. Rosander, Eds.) pp. 265 -282.



At around 4 months of age, infants predict the reappearance of temporary occluded objects. Younger infants have not demonstrated such an ability, but they still benefit from experience; decreasing their reactive saccade latencies over successive passages from the earliest age tested (7 weeks of age). We argue that prediction is not an all or none process that infants either lack or possess. Instead, the ability to predict the reappearance of an occluded object is dependent on numerous simultaneous factors, including the occlusion duration, the manner in which the object disappears, and previous experiences with similar events. Furthermore, we claim that infants’ understanding of how occluded objects move is based on prior experiences with similar events. Initially, infants extrapolate occluded object motion, because they have massive experience with such motion. But infants also have the ability to rapidly adjust to novel trajectories that violate their initial expectations. All of these findings support a constructivist view of infants object representations.