Is the Perception of Objects in Infants Related to IQ During Adolescence  Grant Proposal

Excerpt from Grant Proposal :

perception of objects in infants related to IQ during adolescence?

The term "social cognition" represents the fundamental capabilities of children to perceive an object, categorize, remember, evaluate, thing and react appropriately (Dilalla, 2007). This proposal recognizes the broad definition of the term, but it emphasizes on the multidisciplinary quality of research for this paper. Nevertheless, scientific disciplines vary in their emphasis on various elements of this sophisticated construct. In social psychology, the term illustrates a wide range of happenings including moral reasoning, formation of attitudes and stereotyping. In neuroscience, it defines the term as the capability to perceive the intentions and dispositions of other people. On the other hand, developmental psychology describes the term as the theory of mind, the recognition that people have beliefs and interests divergent, and it is possible to explain behavior by referring to the beliefs and interests.

This proposal adopts the above definition because across scientific disciplines, the definitions of social cognition mainly represent or show a connection to social behavior including social perception (the early stages of assessing intentions and disposition of others by evaluating gaze direction, object direction and other forms of biological motion). In addition, most of the neural circuitry thoughts supporting social cognition comprise of mechanisms, relatively old in evolutionary terminologies. However, the world, which the human brain mainly executes its functions, has changed substantially. For instance, a child born 30 decades ago would possess similar mental capabilities with a current child, but divergent demands, aspirations and opportunities (Dilalla, 2007).

Research on social cognition has increased greatly over the past four decades. Most of the results from the studies have led to spectacular increase in knowledge and appreciation of infants and their capabilities. However, the same development has contributed to divergent theoretical views, contradictory conclusions, and heated debates between investigators all of, which contribute in complicating empirical evidence in infant perceptual and cognitive development, and at times impossible to achieve any results. One of the objectives of this proposal is to develop a framework that will assist in cutting some rhetorical arguments, and examine evidence in social cognition and the relation it has with adolescent IQ.

Statement of the problem

In recent years, there have emerged numerous studies concerning young infants' perception of objects in complicated displays, in which objects are adjacent to other objects, which is among the many intelligence capabilities of infants. However, many of these studies have not provided substantial evidence on the impact or influence of these early intelligences in later ages of life. Therefore, scholars should carry out empirical studies to ascertain whether there is a relationship between these early social cognition abilities to later intelligence, when the infants reach adulthood. In addition, it is important to recognize the complexity of such a study if it were to be conducted. The main challenge is the study in infancy and adulthood, in addition to the methods used to measure intelligence.

Research question

The following question will assist in helping or serve as a guideline to the proposal. The question is as follows:

1. Is the perception of objects in infants having a relation to IQ during adolescence?

Literature review

Infant Perception and infant cognition

The term "infant perception and cognition" may appear as tow different entities rather than a single domain. Therefore, for this reason, it is appropriate to offer a clarification. Infant perception includes the lower level, automatic activities such as being aware of the features of objects and reacting in the context of the features. On the other hand, infant cognition includes the higher level, conceptual activities, for instance, making deductions concerning the meaning or functionality of objects. However, some scholars argue that the term "infant perception and cognition" is a single domain, but they differ in degree as compared to type (Quinn and Johnson, 2000). They argued that whether one views the size constancy, the actual size, or understand the meaning of causal events in which an object may push another object, the appropriate aspect to understand is the nature of the relationship.

Historical views

Prior researchers considered some historical antecedents of the present popularity of studies on infant perception and cognition. From their views, it is evident that the interest in infants and their perception has existed for many decades. In addition, some scholars through their research offered substantial insights into the infant's reactions. Into the bargain, other scholars reported that infants would perceive moving objects visually, whereas another scholar suggested that the alterations in light intensity generated modifications in an infant's visual activity. Later on, some other scholars investigated and measured visual fixation. They found out that a repetition of stimuli resulted to habituation of the reaction.

Often, infants were presented with repetitions of bright light or white noise. In addition, due to habituation, infants gained the ability to orient and decline in reaction, with repeated similar stimulus (Engen et al., 1963). These studies and numerous similar ones showed that infants even the young ones were sensitive to stimulation and most likely, they had some memory for the stimulation. However, the same studies did very little to answer how stimulation was processed, or remembered. This was mainly caused by the complications of the techniques involved; for the experiment to be successful, it required expensive recording material and researchers to observe the equipment and infant.

Visual preference and habituation

Another researcher suggested that the visual preference method works well when infants have an automatic fondness for particular objects. This means that from the start the infants tend to look longer to particular stimuli as compared to others. In case of this, it is possible to conclude that the infant has a preference to some stimuli as compared to others, meaning that they have the capacity to discriminate. In a situation where infants do not show any preference, investigators utilize a paradigm that combines visual preference method with habituation. A typical example is a study where infants were shown pictures of a magazine side by side, and the looking times recorded. The results showed that the infants preferred looking at the side with pictures compared to those with texts (Fantz, 1964).

Investigators have used the visual habituation paradigm for over three decades to study basic questions emerging from infant perception, attention, memory, language acquisition and knowledge of an object. Additionally, the variations in habituation and preference rates are evident between normal and aberrant infants. Into the bargain, both habituation and preference rates appear to have a correlation to adolescent IQ. The major studies concerning infant perception and cognition are central to discovering capabilities of normal infants with changes in those abilities in adolescent. Both theoretical and experimental approaches have relied on the variations objecting to explain how infants in one condition vary from those in another condition, or how there exists a difference between two different age groups (Hunter and Ames, 1988).

Validity of habituation and preference measures

Research suggests that prediction of traditional tests of infant development suggest that the tests have dubious long-term predictive validity for normal populations including the infants who are at risk. The lack of predictive tests reflected the discontinuity and qualitative nature of change when they finally reach adolescence in development from infancy to childhood. In this context, numerous studies demonstrated substantial correlations between infant habituation evaluated between 3 and 8 months, and later IQ evaluated between 3-8years. A typical example is a study that evaluated the correlation amid processing of information via habituation with IQ is around .47, whereas it is around .09 amid standardized tests and adolescent intelligence (IQ). In addition, these high relations apparent between processing of information and adolescent IQ tend to happen when an investigator utilizes a small sample with normal populations (McCall and Carrieger, 1993).

Although research suggests that particular measures of infant information processing utilized, three categories offer the best predictors of adolescent IQ. The first one is the perception of objects arising from visual novelty, which the study refers to as "social cognition." Following a concise exposure to patterns as assessed by visual, there is the presentation of a novel pattern side by side, and then recording of the percentage corresponding to the novel pattern. The percentage recorded has a positive correlation with adolescent IQ. The second category is the measure of the rates of habituation. Numerous measures of habituation, for instance, total looking time until there is the realization of some habituation approach; sometimes have a connection to adolescent intelligence (Slater, 1995).

The third category is the measure of fixation duration, which does not depend on habituation. This measure may include the duration of a look at the outset of the habituation experiments, or duration of the longest look, or the average duration of a look, all these are during habituation. Research suggests that the shorter the look by the infant, the higher the IQ during adolescence. Some studies have found systematic individual variations between short and long lookers. For example, it is evident that infants tend to look longer at pictures that they can see clearly.…

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