The current study tested whether the purely amodal cue of contingency elicits orientation following behavior in 8-month-old infants. We presented 8-month-old infants with automated objects without human features that did or did not react contingently to the infants' fixations recorded by an eye tracker. We found that an object's occasional orientation toward peripheral targets was reciprocated by a congruent visual orientation following response by infants only when it had displayed gaze-contingent interactivity. Our finding demonstrates that infants' gaze-following behavior does not depend on the presence of a human being. The results are consistent with the idea that, in 8-month-old infants, the detection of contingent reactivity, like other communicative signals, can itself elicit the illusion of being addressed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies