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Abstract or Description

Research has shown that infants perceive causality beginning at the age of 6 months. However, a recent study demonstrated that 4½-month-old infants perceive causality when they are given the ability to perform causal actions by wearing red mittens covered in Velcro that attach to Velcro on green toy balls. The current experiments examined whether the perceptually similarity between the objects infants interacted with and the stimuli used in the test events accounted for infant’s perception of causality in these events. Results show that the particular objects used in the action task do not constrain 4½-month-old infants’ perception of causality in simple launching events. The data also reveal that 3-month-old infants do not respond to simple launching events in terms of either causality or continuity, following action experience. Results are discussed in terms of the developmental progression of causal perception, as well as possible mechanisms underlying this development.


Advisor: David Rakison

B.S. Biological Sciences and Psychology