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Haptic perception in newborns

Two experiments using different procedures were performed in which newborns' ability to process information about object shape with their hands was explored. In the first experiment, a haptic fixed-trial procedure was used and a decrease in holding times was found for both right and left hands. In the second experiment, discrimination between objects was studied in which a shifted procedure associated to an infant-control procedure followed by a dishabituation procedure was used. Habituation to an object and a reaction to the novelty of a new object were shown for both right and left hands, showing that neonates are able to process and encode some information about object shape and then to discriminate between different shapes. It is the first evidence of such an ability in neonates. Methodological procedure and haptic cognition with regard to sensory symmetry are discussed and some developmental perspectives are proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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