Explanation Recognition in Infancy

11-month olds preferentially explore surprising objects (e.g. objects that violate solidity expectations), because they are in search of explanatory information. When such information is provided (i.e. the wall had a large opening through which the object could have passed through) surprise-induced, preferential exploration is abolished and it is modulated by how long infants looked at the explanatory information.

Stable Individual Differences in Infancy

In my earlier work I found that infants’ ability to detect violations and recognize explanations for an object’s surprising behavior differs among individuals. But little is known about the possibility of these individual differences being stable over time (but see Perez & Feigenson, 2019, 2020). My current investigations (manuscript in prep) focus on the study of individual differences in response to violations, their stability and their potential impact on later cognition.

Developmental Change in the ability to Reinterpret an Initially Expected Event

My previous work demonstrated that infants can use new information to update their initial interpretation of a surprising event. However, an open question concerns the temporal flexibility of this mental revision. Infants can revise their representation of a surprising event into an expected one…Can they also do the reverse? Current results (manuscript in prep) suggest a slow developmental change in the ability to retrospectively reinterpret an initially expected event as surprising.