Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The relationship between object-knowledge and goal-directed action is critical to understanding cognitive development in the first year of life. Examining the organization of action, perception and cognition in 9.5 month old infants, the current study first investigates the effects of manipulating perceptual information when searching for a goal-object by coordinating a bi-directional detour reach around transparent, opaque and 50%-graded occluders to obtain a goal-object. Second, the study explored how changes in cognitive complexities via a manipulation to the number of hiding-locations (three-vs. five-) affect infants’ problem-solving abilities. Results-demonstrate infants’ impressive ability to initiate a mental plan of action and subsequently execute appropriate motor actions. Infants’ search benefited most when the object was visible through the occlude and some information about the occluder’s solidity was provided. The findings support the lack of memory-inhibition accounts (Diamond, 1991) and shed light onto previously unexamined elements of perceptual-cognitive development during the first year of life.
Ghazban, Niusha, "Exploitation of perceptual information by 9.5 month old infants in search tasks" (2009). Theses and dissertations. Paper 485.