Title

Infant reaching to a hidden affordance: Evidence for intentionality

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-4-2000

Abstract

To act on an affordance requires discovery and motoric regulation by sensory information. To act on a "hidden affordance" additionally implies a response based on previously presented sensory information not present at the time of the activity. It is argued that to act on a hidden affordance provides evidence for intentionality. In Study 1, we examined infant perception of a hidden affordance by measuring responses before and after tasting a sweet or a bitter object. Participants were 38 infants, aged 2.5-5.8 months. We found that the proportion of post-tasting reaches, but not kicks, was higher for a sweet than a bitter object. To determine awareness of the particular object, participants in Study 2 tasted a different object. Twenty infants 2.3 to 5.6 months of age were tested. In this study, the post-tasting proportion of reaches and kicks did not differ by taste condition. Thus, infants show reaching behavior influenced by a hidden affordance, suggesting intentionality. © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.

Publication Name

Infant Behavior and Development

Volume Number

23

First Page

531

Last Page

541

Issue Number

3-4

DOI

10.1016/S0163-6383(01)00060-1

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