Arrows of Time in Infancy: The Representation of Temporal–Causal Invariances
Many transformations that take place over time can only occur in one temporal direction, and adults are highly sensitive to the differences between forward and backward presentations of such events. In seven experiments using two selective-looking paradigms, 4- and 8-month-olds were shown forward and backward videotapes of events involving the effects of gravity on liquids and solid objects and of the separation of whole objects into pieces. Four-month-olds showed a significant preference for the forward version of liquid pouring from a beaker to a glass. Eight-month-olds looked longer at the forward versions of this and four other gravity-related events but showed no directional preferences for the separation events. Several experiments indicate that longer looking at the forward versions of the gravity stimuli is not a product of attraction to specific perceptual features of the stimuli. A model based on the development of representations of types of events is presented and evaluated.
Friedman, William J. 2002. "Arrows of Time in Infancy: The Representation of Temporal–Causal Invariances." Cognitive Psychology 44(3): 252-296.
Time, Infant cognition, Infant perception