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Unformatted text preview: Developmental Science 8:6 (2005), pp 535–543 © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX 4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Blackwel Publishing, Ltd. REPORT The development of gaze following and its relation to language Rechele Brooks and Andrew N. Meltzoff Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington, USA Abstract We examined the ontogeny of gaze following by testing infants at 9, 10 and 11 months of age. Infants (N = 96) watched as an adult turned her head toward a target with either open or closed eyes. The 10- and 11-month-olds followed adult turns significantly more often in the open-eyes than the closed-eyes condition, but the 9-month-olds did not respond differentially. Although 9-month- olds may view others as ‘body orienters’, older infants begin to register whether others are ‘visually connected’ to the external world and, hence, understand adult looking in a new way. Results also showed a strong positive correlation between gaze-following behavior at 10–11 months and subsequent language scores at 18 months. Implications for social cognition are discussed in light of the developmental shift in gaze following between 9 and 11 months of age. Introduction Adults and preschool-age children pay close attention to the direction of visual gaze of other people (Kleinke, 1986; Langton & Bruce, 1999; Lee, Eskritt, Symons & Muir, 1998). Gaze following is important for developmental theory because it can be seen as a ‘front end’ ability that contributes to understanding what another is thinking, feeling and intending to do (Baron-Cohen, 1995; Frith & Frith, 2001; Meltzoff & Brooks, 2001; Tomasello, 1995). In this regard, it is intriguing that children with autism do not engage in gaze following in the same way as typically developing children (e.g. Dawson, Meltzoff, Osterling, Rinaldi & Brown, 1998; Mundy, 2003; Mundy, Sigman & Kasari, 2000; Toth, Munson, Meltzoff & Dawson, in press). To investigate infants’ understanding of others’ looking, developmental scientists have created a broad set of para- digms. They have used both action measures that rely on infants’ actively turning to follow the gaze of others (Brooks & Meltzoff, 2002; Butler, Caron & Brooks, 2000; Butterworth & Cochran, 1980; Butterworth & Itakura, 2000; Carpenter, Nagell & Tomasello, 1998; Corkum & Moore, 1995, 1998; D’Entremont, Hains & Muir, 1997; Moll & Tomasello, 2004; Scaife & Bruner, 1975) and habituation techniques that rely on infants’ increased fixation on novel scenes (Sodian & Thoermer, 2004; Woodward, 2003). Although it is clear that infants will turn to look where another person is looking, it is still unsettled whether infants want to see what another person sees (Brooks & Meltzoff, 2002; Deák, Flom & Pick, 2000; D’Entremont, 2000; Moore & Corkum, 1994, 1998). Infants may not interpret another’s looking behavior as establishing a psychological connection between the looker and external object or as generating...
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This note was uploaded on 09/19/2009 for the course PSYCH 2090 taught by Professor Goldstein, m during the Spring '07 term at Cornell.
- Spring '07
- GOLDSTEIN, M
- Developmental Psychology