An early functional onset of perceptual completion has been extensively documented during the first several months after birth. However, there is no indication for the developmental time periods at which these skills become fully developed. We used a version of an object-based attention task in which children and adults performed a same–different size judgment of two features appearing at two of four possible ends of overlapping objects. Single-object over two-object superiority (i.e., faster judgments when the features appeared on the same object than when they appeared on different objects) was observed for a complete object as early as at 4 years of age. However, it is only at 5 years of age that such a single-object advantage was obtained also for an occluded object, and even then the advantage of the single-object and occluded-object conditions over the two-object condition was observed only when the two features in the two-object condition were spatially distant, demonstrating the critical role of spatial proximity in perceptual organization during childhood. The results suggest that perceptual completion during infancy and early childhood demonstrates some rudimentary perceptual skills that become more firmly established with age.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF, Grant 967/14 ).
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.
- Amodal completion
- Contour interpolation
- Object-based attention
- Partly-occluded objects
- Perceptual completion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology