Given the huge amount of information available from the environment, how do infants know what to learn about and what to ignore? Stahl and Feigenson studied one hundred and ten 11-month-old infants and found that the children used violations of prior expectations as special opportunities for learning. Infants were more likely to explore objects that behaved in unexpected ways, such as appearing to pass through walls or roll over gaps without falling.
The sight of an object that violated expectations enhanced learning and promoted information-seeking behaviors; in addition to exploring the objects more, the infants engaged in hypothesis-testing behaviors that reflected the particular kind of violation seen, and learned more effectively about objects that committed violations. The authors concluded that early in life, expectancy violations offered a wedge into the problem of what to learn.
Stahl AE and Feigenson L: Cognitive development. Observing the unexpected enhances infants’ learning and exploration. Science 348(6230): 91-94 (2015).

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