The development and influence of visual hierarchical processing styles Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Gibson, Jennifer Nicolette
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Perceptual and cognitive processing styles are human tendencies to perceive the world in specific and predictable ways. One such processing style commonly observed among typical adults is the global bias. When viewing hierarchical information, or information with at least one global or whole and one local or part quality, typical adults are usually faster at processing global information and are easily distracted by the global information if it conflicts with the local. Conversely, individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) appear to lack the typical global bias and tend to demonstrate either no bias or a local bias. Researchers are currently working to understand how the typical adult global bias emerges and the consequences that different hierarchical processing styles may have on perceptual input and behavioral output among typical and atypical populations. This dissertation makes advances in the understanding of the typical developmental trajectory of the global bias, the generalizability of processing styles, and relations between processing styles and object exploration and play during the second six months of life. Infants aged 6, 9, and 12 months participated in a cross-sectional, multi-method study including a visual familiarization task, manual familiarization task, sequential touching task, and free-play session. The results indicated that at 12 months of age, the majority of infants demonstrate a local bias and that this local bias generalizes across both the visual and manual familiarization tasks. Additionally, exploration and play behaviors significantly correlated with a local or global bias during the familiarization tasks, suggesting that hierarchical processing is related to the way infants interact with their environment.
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  • In Copyright
  • partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Psychology.
  • Reznick, J. Steven
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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