Visual statistical learning is the process of identifying patterns of probabilistic co-occurrence among visual features, essential to our ability to perceivethe world as predictable and stable. The proposed experiments will provide the first comprehensive examination of infants'detection of complex statistical patterns in visual sequences and layouts b describing computation of probabilistic information by infants from 2 to 14 months. This is a formaive time in perceptual and cognitive development characterized by rapid developmental change in perception and learning of environmental structure. In particular, the experiments will examine how structural variability, cognitive load, and memory limitations affect learning, how contextual cues facilitate or impede this learning, and whether the products of such learning can be generalized toa different setting. In addition, the experiments will provide critical tests of domain-specificity b examining the specific contributions of spatial information to visual statistical learning. The shot-term objectives of the proposed research are to learn how developing perceptual and cognitive skills intract in early development to identify statistically defined patterns. The long-term goals are to clarifytheories of cognitive development that posit a central role for inductive learning by computing probabilitie of observations. The results of this research may have implications for understanding development in children who may be at risk for developmental disorders such as iron-deficiency anemia and autism spectrum disorders, both of which have been characterized as deficits in implicit learning. Such an understanding may lead to assessment tools more closely tailored to early diagnosis and treatment than are presently available.

Public Health Relevance

Visual statistical learning is the process of identifying patterns of probabilistic co-occurrence among visual features, essential to our ability to perceive the world a predictable and stable. The proposed experiments will provide the first comprehensive examination o infants'detection of complex statistical patterns in visual sequences and layouts by describing computation of probabilistic information by infants from 2 to 14 months. This research will bring nw findings and new theoretical perspectives to longstanding debates about the origins of knowledge, ad may shed light on possible ways of examining atypical development, as when implicit learning is disrupted in infants at risk for autism or iron-deficiency anemia.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD073535-03
Application #
8690126
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-E (02))
Program Officer
Freund, Lisa S
Project Start
2012-07-20
Project End
2017-05-31
Budget Start
2014-06-01
Budget End
2015-05-31
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$303,916
Indirect Cost
$102,226
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
092530369
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
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Walker, Peter; Bremner, J Gavin; Mason, Uschi et al. (2014) Preverbal infants are sensitive to cross-sensory correspondences: much ado about the null results of Lewkowicz and Minar (2014). Psychol Sci 25:835-6
Kim, Hojin I; Johnson, Scott P (2014) Detecting 'infant-directedness' in face and voice. Dev Sci 17:621-7
Shuwairi, Sarah M; Johnson, Scott P (2013) Oculomotor Exploration of Impossible Figures in Early Infancy. Infancy 18:221-232
Escudero, Paola; Robbins, Rachel A; Johnson, Scott P (2013) Sex-related preferences for real and doll faces versus real and toy objects in young infants and adults. J Exp Child Psychol 116:367-79