Four-day-old human neonates look longer at non-biological motions of a single point-of-light
Gentaz, Édouard Édouard
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Background. Biological motions, that is, the movements of humans and other vertebrates, are characterized by dynamic regularities that reflect the structure and the control schemes of the musculo-skeletal system. Early studies on the development of the visual perception of biological motion showed that infants after three months of age distinguished between biological and non-biological locomotion. Methodology/Principal Findings. Using single point-light motions that varied with respect to the "two-third-power law" of motion generation and perception, we observed that four-day-old human neonates looked longer at non-biological motions than at biological motions when these were simultaneously presented in a standard preferential looking paradigm. Conclusion/Significance. This result can be interpreted within the "violation of expectation" framework and can indicate that neonates' motion perception - like adults' - is attuned to biological kinematics.