Emergence of sensitivity to pictorial depth cues: Charting development in individual infants

Albert Yonas, Chryle A. Elieff, Martha E. Arterberry

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44 Scopus citations


Three experiments were conducted to explore the emergence of sensitivity to the pictorial depth cues of texture gradient and linear perspective. In experiment 1, an initial longitudinal study explored the emergence of sensitivity to pictorial depth information between 5 and 7 months of age. In experiment 2, a cross-sectional study with 5-7-month-olds assessed revised methods designed to study development of pictorial depth sensitivity in individual infants. Experiment 3 applied these methods to a second sample of infants studied longitudinally. The results showed that: (a) a reliable method for assessing sensitivity in individual infants has been constructed; (b) there is variability in the age at which infants begin to use linear perspective and texture gradient for perceiving depth (22-28 weeks of age); and (c) sensitivity emerges across 2-8 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-514
Number of pages20
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank all of the parents and children who participated in the study, Melissa Tilton for assistance in collection of the data in experiment 2 and the writing of a draft of the report of that study, Rocco Ross for his assistance with the data collection in experiment 3, and Merv Bergman for creating the innovative apparatus used in experiment 3. AY would like to acknowledge support from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota. MEA was a Visiting Scientist at the Child and Family Research Section of NICHD during the preparation of this manuscript.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Depth cues
  • Depth perception
  • Pictorial depth information


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