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Perception. 1984;13(3):287-305.

Spatiotemporal continuity and the perception of causality in infants.


Infant perception of a Michottean launching event in which one object causes another to move through collision is examined in a series of habituation-test experiments. A number of hypotheses concerning how infants aged around 30 weeks might perceive and encode launching and its noncausal variants are identified and tested. The results of the first experiment indicate that infants can perceive direct launching as an event with internal structure, that is, as composed of two temporally ordered movements. The nature of the encoding by the infants is perceptual and not specifically motor-based. The second experiment makes it seem unlikely that the infants encode independent spatial and temporal features (for example, contact and successivity), while the third experiment suggests a spatiotemporal continuity gradient. Some implications for the origins of causality are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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