Development of infants' sensitivity to surface contour information for spatial layout

Maya G. Sen, Albert Yonas, David C. Knill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The development of sensitivity to a recently discovered static-monocular depth cue to surface shape surface contours, was investigated. Twenty infants in each of three age groups (5, 51/2, and 7 months) viewed a display that creates an illusion, for adult viewers, that what is in fact a frontoparallel cylinder is slanted away in depth, so that one end appears closer than the other. Preferential reaching was recorded in both monocular and binocular conditions. More reaching to the apparently closer end in the monocular than in the binocular condition is evidence of sensitivity Infants aged 7 months responded to surface contour information, but infants aged 5 and 51/2 months did not. In a control study, twenty 5-month-old infants reached consistently for the closer ends of cylinders that were actually rotated in depth. As findings with other static-monocular depth information suggest, infants' sensitivity to surface contour information appears to develop at approximately 6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

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