Linear systems analysis of infant visual pattern preferences

Ilse E. Gayl, Jonathan O. Roberts, John S Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Karmel's check-pattern preference data for 13-week-old infants were reanalyzed using linear systems analysis. The two-dimensional Fourier amplitude spectrum was calculated for each of his eight checkerboard and random check patterns. The mean contrast sensitivity data for 3-month-old infants of Banks and Salapatek and the spatial frequency amplitudes of the patterns were used to derive three metrics to predict the looking times observed by Karmel. One was based on the sensitivity of the visual system to the single pattern component highest above threshold (maximum amplitude), the second was based on the total amount of pattern energy above threshold (total summation), and the third was based on the maximum amplitude with summation over nearby spatial frequency components (limited summation). The predictive power of the maximum amplitude and the total summation metrics depended on whether the pattern type was checkerboard or random check. The limited summation metric predicted looking times well for both pattern types. A linear function of the logarithm of the limited summation metric accounted for 91% of the total variance in looking time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-45
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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