Infant’s Visual Complexity in Parent-Child Play: Clutter Analysis



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Word learning occurs rapidly in infants with nouns being in advantage from 18-20 months. Preliminary results showed that the Optimal Visual Naming Moment (OVNM) was increased in the noun trials while child hand holding (manual actions) was increased in the verb trials. However, manual actions facilitate word learning, which should lead to increased labeling that occurs in OVNM. To solve this discrepancy, clutter was used in this study as a mechanism to resolve the differences in noun and verb development. In this semi-naturalistic play study with 23 participants (4.0-18.3 mos, High/Medium SES monolinguals), noun and verb learning differences can be studied directly by using eye-tracking headcams for both participants during a parent-child play session. The study consists of calculating the clutter based on the number of distractions (looks that are not including the target object) during four noun and four verb trials lasting 40 seconds per trial. The expectation is more clutter in the verb trials compared to the nouns. The results of the clutter analysis demonstrated that although there was more clutter in verbs, the result was not significant (p>0.05, t value= 0.51). Possible explanations include how OVNM should be analyzed and considering the infant’s vision. Future directions include correlating the visual experiences of the infant with object size and distance of object in the child’s view.