Influence of a central stimulus on infants' visual fields

Melissa C. Goldberg, Daphne Maurer, Terri L. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We used static perimetry to evaluate the influence of a central stimulus on infants' orienting toward stimuli in the temporal and nasal visual fields. Newborns, 1-month-olds, and 4-month-olds (n = 252) were tested monocularly with a flashing 6° central light that either remained on or was turned off when an identical light was presented in the periphery. We measured whether infants made an eye movement toward the peripheral lights more often than they moved their eye in the same direction on control trials during which no peripheral stimulus was presented. At all three ages, the presence of a central stimulus had no effect on the measured extent of either the temporal or nasal visual field. Nor did it affect the latency to respond in 1- and 4-month-olds (the only two ages at which we measured latency). Thus, under some circumstances, young infants appear to have no difficulty disengaging attention from a central stimulus and orienting toward a peripheral target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-370
Number of pages12
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Competitive stimulus
  • Infants
  • Peripheral vision
  • Static perimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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