Orientation Effects in the Development of Linear Object Tracking in Early Infancy

DIANA SU YUN THAM, Alison Rees, J.G. Bremner, Alan Slater, Scott Johnson

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Infants’ oculomotor tracking develops rapidly but is poorer when there are horizontal and vertical movement
components. Additionally, persistence of objects moving through occlusion emerges at 4 months but initially
is absent for objects moving obliquely. In two experiments, we recorded eye movements of thirty-two 4-
month-old and thirty-two 6-month-old infants (mainly Caucasian-White) tracking horizontal, vertical, and
oblique trajectories. Infants tracked oblique trajectories less accurately, but 6-month olds tracked more accurately
such that they tracked oblique trajectories as accurately as 4-month olds tracked horizontal and vertical
trajectories. Similar results emerged when the object was temporarily occluded. Thus, 4-month olds’ tracking
of oblique trajectories may be insufficient to support object persistence, whereas 6-month olds may track sufficiently
accurately to perceive object persistence for all trajectory orientations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-334
Number of pages11
JournalChild Development
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2020


  • child development


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