Free Viewing Gaze Behavior in Infants and Adults

John M. Franchak, David J. Heeger, Uri Hasson, Karen E. Adolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study investigated age differences in free viewing gaze behavior. Adults and 6-, 9-, 12-, and 24-month-old infants watched a 60-sec Sesame Street video clip while their eye movements were recorded. Adults displayed high intersubject consistency in eye movements; they tended to fixate the same places at the same. Infants showed weaker consistency between observers and intersubject consistency increased with age. Across age groups, the influence of both bottom-up features (fixating visually salient areas) and top-down features (looking at faces) increased. Moreover, individual differences in fixating bottom-up and top-down features predicted whether infants' eye movements were consistent with those of adults, even when controlling for age. However, this relation was moderated by the number of faces available in the scene, suggesting that the development of adult-like viewing involves learning when to prioritize looking at bottom-up and top-down features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-287
Number of pages26
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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