Feeding-based arousal effects on visual recognition memory in early infancy.

R. Geva, J. M. Gardner, B. Z. Karmel

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29 Scopus citations


Arousal effects on a 1-trial visual recognition paired-comparison task were studied at newborn, 1-month, and 4-month test ages. Infants were tested before and after feeding, with arousal assumed to be lower after feeding. Newborns and 1-month-olds shifted from a familiarity preference before feeding to a novelty preference after feeding. A control group tested only after feeding confirmed that this shift was not due to increased stimulus exposure from the prefeeding test. By 4 months, infants showed novelty preferences independent of feeding. This age by arousal interaction for recognition memory extends previous knowledge by including endogenous arousal with age, stimulus, and length of exposure as contributors to familiarity-novelty preferences. It also extends and provides converging evidence for arousal effects on visual attention in early infancy found previously with preferential looking. A shift from subcortical to cortical dominance is supported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-650
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes


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