The results show that while infants can perceive flicker or movement, they may not be able to identify the individual elements within a moving or changing scene as well as an adult.
"Their visual experience of changes around them is definitely different from that of an adult," said Faraz Farzin, who conducted the work as a graduate student at UC Davis and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
The study, conducted with Susan Rivera, an associate professor at UC Davis, and David Whitney, an associate professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, is published online by the journal Psychological Science.
Babies are not born with all the visual abilities they need in life. Their brains gradually develop the ability to use visual information to discover their world.
Even in adults, the brain is limited in the rate at which it can keep up with changing information in a scene, Farzin said.
An adult can't recognize individual moment-to-moment changes that occur faster than every 50-70 milliseconds.
For infants, Farzin and her colleagues found that the speed limit is about half a second — about 10 times slower than for adults.
To determine the speed limit on infants' perception, Farzin and her fellow researchers tracked the eye movements of a group of 6- to 15-month-olds as they were shown four flickering squares. Three squares flickered from black to white and back, and one square flickered out of phase with the others (white to black), which should draw more attention because it is the "odd man out."
Eye tracking of the infants showed that they did not spend more time looking at the out-of-phase square, meaning they could not distinguish it as being different, she said.
"It was surprising how coarse their resolution was," Farzin said.
A TV show or movie in which scenes change faster than two frames per second is probably a blur to an infant under 15 months, Farzin said.
Farzin is now extending her work to people with developmental disorders that affect visual perception, such as dyslexia, fragile X syndrome or autism. By understanding visual perception in typically developing children, she hopes to understand how and when it can go wrong.
The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.
Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better...
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy