Egocentric action in early infancy: Spatial Frames of Reference for Saccades

Rick O. Gilmore, Mark H. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The extent to which infants combine visual (i.e., retinal position) and nonvisual (eye or head position) spatial information in planning saccades relates to the issue of what spatial frame or frames of reference influence early visually guided action. We explored this question by testing infants from 4 to 6 months of age on the double-step saccade paradigm, which has shown that adults combine visual and eye position information into an egocentric (head- or trunk-centered) representation of saccade target locations. In contrast, our results imply that infants depend on a simple retinocentric representation at age 4 months, but by 6 months use egocentric representations more often to control saccade planning. Shifts in the representation of visual space for this simple sensorimotor behavior may index maturation in cortical circuitry devoted to visual spatial processing in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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