Young infants' expectations about hidden objects: A reply to three challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this article, I address three broad challenges that have been directed at claims that even young infants are able to represent and to reason about hidden objects. The first challenge is that such claims are static and non-developmental and as such represent an unproductive approach to the study of infant cognition. The second challenge is that claims that even young infants represent hidden objects typically go hand in hand with assertions that infants are born with a belief that objects exist continuously in time and move continuously through space, and there is no evidence to date to support such assertions. Finally, the third challenge is that reports that young infants represent hidden objects can all be explained more parsimoniously in terms of low level perceptual biases in infants' encoding and processing of events, or in terms of transient expectations formed during habituation trials and later extended to test trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-132
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopmental science
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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