The Role of Shape Recognition in Figure/Ground Perception in Infancy
In this study we sought to determine whether infants, like adults, utilize previous experience to guide figure/ground processing. After familiarization to a shape, 5-month-olds preferentially attended to the side of an ambiguous figure/ground test stimulus corresponding to that shape, suggesting that they were viewing that portion as the figure. Infants’ failure to exhibit this preference in a control condition in which both sides of the test stimulus were displayed as figures indicated that the results in the experimental condition were not due to a preference between two figure shapes. These findings demonstrate for the first time that figure/ground processing in infancy is sensitive to top-down influence. Thus, a critical aspect of figure/ground processing is functional early in life.
White, Hannah; Jubran, Rachel; Heck, Alison; Chroust, Alyson; and Bhatt, Ramesh S.. 2018. The Role of Shape Recognition in Figure/Ground Perception in Infancy. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Vol.25(4). 1381-1387. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-018-1476-z ISSN: 1531-5320