The stability of visual habituation during the first year of life.


The short-term reliability and long-term stability of visual habituation and dishabituation in infancy were assessed in a sample of 186 infants from 4 age groups (3-, 4-, 7-, and 9-month-olds) seen for 2 within-age sessions and in a sample of 69 infants seen longitudinally at 3, 4, 7, and 9 months of age. Moderate week-to-week reliability (r's = .30-.50) was observed for duration-based and magnitude of habituation variables at all ages, although better reliability was evident at 4 and 9 months than at 3 and 7 months. In most cases, the reliability of habituation magnitude measures was attributable to the reliability of the peak fixation alone. Data from the longitudinal sample suggested that only the duration of peak fixation was consistently stable across the ages tested, although stability for several measures emerged across the 7-9-month testing. No consistent reliability or stability emerged for the presence or magnitude of dishabituation in either sample.

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Child development