Event-related potentials for 7-month-olds' processing of animals and furniture items

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Abstract

Event-related potentials (ERPs) to single visual stimuli were recorded in 7-month-old infants. In a three-stimulus oddball paradigm, infants watched one frequently occurring standard stimulus (either an animal or a furniture item) and two infrequently occurring oddball stimuli, presenting one exemplar from the same and one from the different superordinate category as compared to the standard stimulus. Additionally, visual attributes of the stimuli were controlled to investigate whether infants focus on category membership or on perceptual similarity when processing the stimuli. Infant ERPs indicated encoding of the standard stimulus and discriminating it from the two oddball stimuli by larger Nc peak amplitude and late-slow-wave activity for the infrequent stimuli. Moreover, larger Nc latency and positive-slow-wave activity indicated increased processing for the different-category as compared to the same-category oddball. Thus, 7-month-olds seem to encode single stimuli not only by surface perceptual features, but they also regard information of category membership, leading to facilitated processing of the oddball that belongs to the same domain as the standard stimulus. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Elsner, B., Jeschonek, S., & Pauen, S. (2013). Event-related potentials for 7-month-olds’ processing of animals and furniture items. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 3(1), 53–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2012.09.002

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