Infants' sensitivity to uniform connectedness as a cue for perceptual organization

Angela Hayden, Ramesh S. Bhatt, Paul C. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A new grouping principle, uniform connectedness (UC), has been posited to be a basic organizer of visual pattern information, one that takes precedence over other, more classic grouping principles (Palmer & Rock, 1994), but its ontogenetic origins have not previously been investigated. We examined whether 3- to 4-month-olds and 6- to 7-month-olds utilize UC to organize static two-dimensional displays. Infants habituated to uniformly connected patterns exhibited a novelty preference for disconnected element patterns, whereas those without any habituation failed to exhibit a preference. The results indicate that infants are sensitive to UC as a cue for perceptual organization. Prior studies indicate that some Gestalt principles (e.g., common movement) are functional during the first half year of life, but that other principles (e.g., form similarity) are less readily available. The present finding showing that young infants are sensitive to UC points to the foundational nature of this cue and adds to an emerging body of evidence indicating that at least some of the mechanisms believed to produce perceptual organization in adults are already operational in the first months of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-261
Number of pages5
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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