One-year-old infants follow others' voice direction.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We investigated 1-year-old infants' ability to infer an adult's focus of attention solely on the basis of her voice direction. In Studies 1 and 2, 12- and 16-month-olds watched an adult go behind a barrier and then heard her verbally express excitement about a toy hidden in one of two boxes at either end of the barrier. Even though they could not see the adult, infants of both ages followed her voice direction to the box containing the toy. Study 2 showed that infants could do this even when the adult was positioned closer to the incorrect box while she vocalized toward the correct one (and thus ruled out the possibility that infants were merely approaching the source of the sound). In Study 3, using the same methods as in Study 2, we found that chimpanzees performed the task at chance level. Our results show that infants can determine the focus of another person's attention through auditory information alone-a useful skill for establishing joint attention.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rossano, F; Carpenter, M; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • January 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1298 - 1302

PubMed ID

  • 23070306

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0956797612450032


  • eng