Discrimination between familiar and novel visual stimuli was studied in human preterm newborns using a technique in which illumination of visual stimuli was contingent on nonnutritive high-amplitude sucking (HAS). Increased HAS following a shift to a novel color-pattern stimulus, relative to a no-shift control session, was obtained for a group of sixteen infants. A replication of this novelty discrimination effect was obtained with seven of the sixteen infants who were available for two additional testing sessions. Six of the seven infants showed increased levels of differential responsiveness to the familiar and novel stimuli on the replication measure. Individual differences in visual exploration and responsiveness to novelty were negatively correlated with perinatal complications, and positively correlated with maturation level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology