Infants' sensitivity to pictorial depth cues: A review and meta-analysis of looking studies

Michael Kavšek, Albert Yonas, Carl E. Granrud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper reviews habituation-dishabituation and preferential-looking studies on the emergence of sensitivity to pictorial depth cues in infancy. This research can be subdivided into two groups. While one group of studies has established responsiveness to pictorial depth cues at 3-5 months of age, the other has found that the ability to extract pictorial 3D information emerges at about 6 months. In the former, young infants were tested for their ability to distinguish between displays that differ in spatial information provided by pictorial depth cues. The results of these studies might demonstrate that 3-5-month-old infants perceive spatial layout from pictorial cues. It is possible, however, that the infants in these studies responded primarily to low-level, two-dimensional stimulus differences. In contrast, the second group of studies controlled for the potential influence of lower-level stimulus features on the infants' experimental performance and more unambiguously demonstrated sensitivity to pictorial depth information in infants 6 months of age and older. In sum, the divergent findings of studies in this area may be resolved by assuming substantial developmental progress in infant sensitivity to pictorial depth cues during the first months of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Dishabituation
  • Habituation
  • Infant vision
  • Meta-analysis
  • Perceptual development
  • Pictorial depth cues
  • Preferential-looking
  • Review


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