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The Relationship between Sitting and the Use of Symmetry As a Cue to Figure-Ground Assignment in 6.5-Month-Old Infants


Two experiments examined the relationship between emerging sitting ability and sensitivity to symmetry as a cue to figure-ground (FG) assignment in 6.5-month-old infants (N = 80). In each experiment, infants who could sit unassisted (as indicated by parental report in Experiment 1 and by an in-lab assessment in Experiment 2) exhibited sensitivity to symmetry as a cue to FG assignment, whereas non-sitting infants did not. Experiment 2 further revealed that sensitivity to this cue is not related to general cognitive abilities as indexed using a non-related visual habituation task. Results demonstrate an important relationship between motor development and visual perception and further suggest that the achievement of important motor milestones such as stable sitting may be related to qualitative changes in sensitivity to monocular depth assignment cues such as symmetry.

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