Visual abstract rule learning by 3- and 4-month-old infants


Infants’ ability to detect and generalize abstract rules (e.g., ABB, ABA) in auditory stimuli has been well documented, however their ability to do so from visual stimuli has received considerably less attention. Moreover, the few studies reported suggest that this kind of learning is especially sensitive to details of the experimental design. Here, we focus on 3- to 4-month-old infants (N=40) to identify both the origins of visual abstract rule learning in infancy and the conditions that best support it. Our results provide the earliest evidence to date, documenting that by 3 months of age, infants successfully learn and generalize rules in the visual modality. They also reveal that providing infants with an opportunity to examine the stimuli simultaneously may be instrumental to their success.

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