Infants' Manual Exploration of Pictorial Objects Varying in Realism
In previous research, we established that 9‐month‐old infants manually investigate pictured objects by hitting, rubbing, and grasping as if to pluck them off the page. This behavior suggests that infants do not understand the 2‐dimensional nature of pictures. Although they can perceive depth cues and distinguish pictures from objects, they do not appreciate the significance of these cues; that is, they do not realize how depicted objects differ from real ones. We report 2 studies that support the idea that infants' manual response to pictures is driven by the resemblance of depicted objects to the real objects they represent. In Study 1, we report that infants' manual investigation of pictures is directly related to how realistic they are: The more depicted objects look like real objects, the more manual investigation they evoke. In Study 2, we show that 9‐month‐old infants' manual behaviors are concentrated on depicted objects even when there are areas of greater perceptual contrast on the page. The results are discussed with respect to the early development of pictorial competence.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
10.1207/S15327078IN0401_7 About DOI