Changing Role of Stimulus Intensity as a Determinant of Infants' Attention

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When pairs of stimuli which varied in size or brightness and in pattern were presented to 6-, 9- and 24-wk.-olds, the visual attention of the younger infants appeared to be more influenced by size or brightness than by pattern, while the opposite was the case for the oldest infants. The results of another study suggested that the effects of size and brightness were additive for 9-wk.-olds. Finally, a third study using a subject-control procedure with successive stimulus presentation yielded results which were essentially the same as those of the first study. The results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that amount of stimulation is a major determinant of attention in the first 2 mo. and that its effectiveness decreases with age.

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