The development of reaching and looking preferences in infants to objects of different sizes.
Newman C., Atkinson J., Braddick O.
Reaching and looking preferences and movement kinematics were recorded in 5-15-month-old infants, who were divided into 3 age groups. Infants were presented with pairs of cylinders of 3 different diameters: small (1-cm diameter), medium (2.5-cm diameter), and large (6-cm diameter). Whereas infants between 5 and 12 months of age showed a preference for looking first at the large object, a significant preference for reaching to smaller (graspable) objects was observed in 81/2-12-month-old infants. Kinematic measures suggest that the onset of object-oriented action requires a slowing down of the reach and an extended "homing-in" phase. The divergent looking and reaching preferences in infants at different ages may reflect a dissociation during development of visual processing streams subserving object-related action from those related to visual orienting.