Essay about The Subcortical and Cortical Visual Pathways Analysis

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In order to be selective in attending to a complex environment infants need to be capable of engaging and disengaging in attention. When newborns are awake and alert their attention is not random it is organised and selective (Ruff & Rothbart, 2001). Attention engagement is an effortful engagement with stimuli; it is also referred to as sustained attention (Stechlar & Latz, 1966). The ability to detect changes in stimuli over sustained periods requires effort (Ruff & Rothbart, 2001). Attention disengagement refers to when attention to a stimulus is terminated (Colombo, 2001). Attention disengagement is necessary in order to shift attention to other aspects of the environment. Disengagement is often studied with a spatial cuing paradigm …show more content…
Results highlighted the duration the infants spent looking at the stimuli was several minutes and the termination of the attention was accompanied by fussing and/or crying. This implies infants can engage in obligatory attention. Research has shown obligatory attention tapers off from 2-3 months and selective attention starts to develop; which is when the infant remembers objects in a category (Ruff & Rothbart, 2001).

Research has shown newborn infants can initiate localising eye movements very rapidly if the central stimulus disappears at the time of peripheral target onset. Aslin and Salapatek (1975) explored the probability, latency, direction and form of infant’s eye movements toward a peripheral target which is replacing or added to a central fixation stimulus. Electro-oculography as well as direct observation was used to investigate this. In this experiment there were 24 1 month olds and 24 2 month olds although 16 subjects were eliminated from the study. Subjects were presented with addition and replacement trials along the vertical, the horizontal or one of the two diagonal axes in the stimulus field. Peripheral targets along the left and right vectors of the horizontal axes were presented at 10, 20, 30 and 40 degrees to the left and right of the fixation stimulus. Along the vertical stimulus 10 and 20 degrees above or below and the diagonal stimulus the vectors were 10, 20 and 30 degrees diagonally away from the fixation stimulus. Subjects participated in

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