social perception, holistic processing, body information processing, infancy
Holistic processing is tied to expertise and is characteristic of face and body perception by adults. Infants process faces holistically, but it is unknown whether they process body information holistically. In the present study, infants were tested for discrimination between body postures that differed in limb orientations in three conditions: in the context of the whole body, with just the isolated limbs that changed orientation, or with the limbs in the context of scrambled body parts. Five- and 9-month-olds discriminated between whole-body postures, but failed in the isolated-part and scrambled-body conditions, demonstrating holistic processing of information from bodies. These results indicate that at least some level of expertise in body processing develops quite early in life.
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Hock, Alyson; White, Hannah; Jubran, Rachel; and Bhatt, Ramesh, "The Whole Picture: Holistic Body Posture Recognition in Infancy" (2016). Psychology Faculty Works. 98.
Available at: https://irl.umsl.edu/psychology-faculty/98