Date of Award
Master of Arts
Aaron Buss, Jessica Hay
In order to make sense of the world around us, our brains must learn to quickly and accurately integrate information from one eye movement to the next. Our ability to integrate this information develops rapidly over the first year of life. Previous research has indicated that when both adults and infants are storing information in their visual memory system, this information guides future eye movements and leads to the formation of a preference to look towards or away from novel items. Additionally, adult vision research has indicated that very basic reflexive eye movements are influenced by visual information being retained in visual short-term memory. Given this research, several questions remained. The present study was designed to test if the eye movements of infants at 5- and 11-months change as a function of information being retained in their visual short-term memory systems, how this varies between age groups, and how the length of time an infant spends viewing an item alters the formation of looking preferences. The results indicated that infants did not exhibit faster reaction times to, or develop a preference for novel or familiar items.
Ainsley, Amanda Marie, "Assessing the Role of Biased Competition in 5- and 11-month-old Infants. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2020.