Infant Responses to Impending Collision: Optical and Real

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Science  26 Feb 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3973, pp. 818-820
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3973.818


Twenty-four infants ranging in age from 2 to 11 weeks responded to symmetrically expanding shadows, which optically specify an approaching object, with an integrated avoidance response and upset. This response did not occur for asymmetrically expanding shadows nor for contracting shadows that specify an object on a miss path and a receding object. The response was observed in all the infants regardless of age, and the addition of kinetic depth information to the displays did not increase the intensity or likelihood of the response. In a second experiment, seven infants defensively reacted to the approach of a real object except when it was on a miss path.