Spontaneous object and movement representations in 4-month-old human infants and albino Swiss mice

Alan Langus, Amanda Saksida, Daniela Braida, Roberta Martucci, Mariaelvina Sala, Marina Nespor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can young infants decompose visual events into independent representations of objects and movements? Previous studies suggest that human infants may be born with the notion of objects but there is little evidence for movement representations during the first months of life. We devised a novel Rapid Visual Recognition Procedure to test whether the nervous system is innately disposed for the conceptual decomposition of visual events. We show that 4-month-old infants can spontaneously build object and movement representations and recognize these in partially matching test events. Also albino Swiss mice that were tested on a comparable procedure could spontaneously build detailed mental representations of moving objects. Our results dissociate the ability to conceptually decompose physical events into objects and spatio-temporal relations from various types of human and non-human specific experience, and suggest that the nervous system is genetically predisposed to anticipate the representation of objects and movements in both humans and non-human species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Development
  • Infants
  • Mice
  • Object/movement representations
  • Visual representations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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