3
Impact Factor

Hypothesis & Theory ARTICLE

Front. Hum. Neurosci., 02 December 2008 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/neuro.09.016.2008

Babies and brains: habituation in infant cognition and functional neuroimaging

Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, USA
Many prominent studies of infant cognition over the past two decades have relied on the fact that infants habituate to repeated stimuli – i.e. that their looking times tend to decline upon repeated stimulus presentations. This phenomenon had been exploited to reveal a great deal about the minds of preverbal infants. Many prominent studies of the neural bases of adult cognition over the past decade have relied on the fact that brain regions habituate to repeated stimuli – i.e. that the hemodynamic responses observed in fMRI tend to decline upon repeated stimulus presentations. This phenomenon has been exploited to reveal a great deal about the neural mechanisms of perception and cognition. Similarities in the mechanics of these two forms of habituation suggest that it may be useful to relate them to each other. Here we outline this analogy, explore its nuances, and highlight some ways in which the study of habituation in functional neuroimaging could yield novel insights into the nature of habituation in infant cognition – and vice versa.
Keywords:
repetition attenuation, repetition suppression, repetition enhancement, fMRI adaptation, priming, implicit memory, novelty preferences, cognitive neuroscience
Citation:
Turk-Browne NB, Scholl BJ and Chun MM (2008). Babies and brains: habituation in infant cognition and functional neuroimaging. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 2:16. doi: 10.3389/neuro.09.016.2008
Received:
27 August 2008;
 Paper pending published:
14 October 2008;
Accepted:
15 October 2008;
 Published online:
02 December 2008.

Edited by:

Silvia A. Bunge, University of California Berkeley, USA

Reviewed by:

Leslie J. Carver, University of California, San Diego, USA
Scott P. Johnson, University of California, USA
Copyright:
© 2008 Turk-Browne, Scholl and Chun. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence:
Nicholas B. Turk-Browne, Department of Psychology, Yale University, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven CT 06511, USA. e-mail: nicholas. turk-browne@yale.edu