Infants' shifts of gaze from a central to a peripheral stimulus: A longitudinal study of development between 6 and 26 weeks

P.R. Butcher*, A.F. Kalverboer, R.H. Geuze

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article reports the results of an intensive, longitudinal investigation of the development of infants' ability to shift gaze from a central to a peripheral stimulus. Sixteen infants were followed at 2-week intervals from 6 to 26 weeks of age. A high degree of discontinuity was found in the development of both frequency and latency of shifts of gaze, with rapid improvement between 9 and 16 weeks, followed by more gradual improvement between 16 and 26 weeks. Individual developmental trajectories for frequency were highly similar to the group trajectory. Trajectories for latency cost differed more across infants. Inter-infant differences had not become stable for either measure at 26 weeks. The findings are consistent with explanations of the development of gaze shifting in terms of changes in the relative strength of processes which maintain the focus of attention and gaze, and processes which interrupt and shift it. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalInfant Behavior & Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2000


  • shifting visual attention
  • disengagement
  • longitudinal investigations
  • infants
  • LIFE

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