A widely accepted view in developmental science is that infants are biologically prepared to learn complex behaviors via their experiences interacting in a dynamic world with social agents who are responsive to their activity. However, current methods for studying the complex processes of interaction are lagging. Traditional methods identify the products of development, and privilege infants' internal structure as the cause of new social-cognitive skills and the essence of developmental change. In my dissertation, I use methods inspired by embodied and distributed cognition to precisely capture interaction as it unfolds from moment-to-moment. I use these methods to support and develop novel theories of infant development.
In my first study we expand upon classic looking time studies to collect a heterogeneous set of measures of infant looking-behaviors in a naturalistic environment. Our data suggest that looking-behaviors are not strictly a function of the time infants require to encode stimulus properties, but also are affected by factors such as uncertainty and psychological stress.
My second study is based in the tradition of naturalistic observation. In a longitudinal dataset spanning the first year, we precisely track the targets of infants' and mothers' multiple sensorimotor modalities—the hands, gaze, and mouth—as the dyads attend to one another and to various toys. From these data we characterize a number of developing behavioral trajectories in mother-infant object coordination across the first year. These trajectories ground an alternative theory to the current representational account of the development of social attention (see, e.g. Striano & Reid, 2006). At their youngest (4 months) infants raptly attend to their mothers and to her actions on toys. Over the first year, these early behaviors combine with developing haptic articulation, sensory-motor decoupling, emergence of routines, and maternal scaffolding to produce, by 12 months, increasingly complex triadic interactions. Visualizations and analyses of multimodal patterns that preserve the rich temporal structure of the interaction allow us to confirm elements of this theory.
By precisely capturing infants' interactions we characterize how the dynamics of the infants' growing sensorimotor capacities, and the structure of the social environment provided by caregivers, jointly contribute to infant development.
|Advisor:||Deak, Gedeon O., Johnson, Christine M.|
|Commitee:||Bartlett, Marian, Carver, Leslie, Chiba, Andrea, Hutchins, Edwin, Littlewort, Gwen, Trivedi, Mohan|
|School:||University of California, San Diego|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Attention development, Distributed cognition, Infancy, Parent-child interactions, Social development|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be