We report a new method for calibrating differences in perceptual salience across feature dimensions, in infants. The problem of inter-dimensional salience arises in many areas of infant studies, but a general method for addressing the problem has not previously been described. Our method is based on a preferential looking paradigm, adapted to determine the relative salience of two stimuli. We report here on the case of stimuli differing in color and luminance, though the method has wider potential. We were able to determine on a psychophysical curve the point at which a color contrast was equally salient to infants as a given luminance contrast. We then used these calibrated, 'iso-salient' stimuli in an object memory study. Results showed that 6.5-month-old infants noticed a color, but not a luminance, change while tracking an occluded object. Our method should have numerous applications in the study of bottom-up effects on infant attention and visual working memory.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience