BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Human infants’ ability to perceive touch in external space develops postnatally

    Begum Ali, Jannath and Spence, C. and Bremner, A.J. (2015) Human infants’ ability to perceive touch in external space develops postnatally. Current Biology 25 (20), R978-R979. ISSN 0960-9822.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    Arriving in the outside world, the newborn infant has to determine how the tactile stimulation experienced in utero relates to the spatial environment newly offered up by vision, hearing and olfaction. We investigated this developmental process by tracing the origins of the influence of external spatial representation on young infants’ orienting responses to tactile stimuli. When adults cross their hands or feet they typically make more tactile localization errors than otherwise, and this has been attributed to the conflicts between skin-based and external frames of reference and/or the usual and current locations of touches in external space 1 and 2. Here, we report that a group of six-month-olds, like adults, showed a tactile localisation deficit with their feet crossed, indicating external spatial coding of touch; in striking contrast, four-month-olds outperformed the older infants showing no crossed-feet deficit. Thus, in the first months of life, infants perceive touches solipsistically, and only come to locate them in the external world after significant postnatal experience.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2015 14:19
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:19


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item