Many developmental studies have examined the effects of joint attention. However, it has been difficult to compare effects of initiating joint attention and responding to joint attention in infants. Here, we compared the effects of initiating joint attention and responding joint attention on object information processing, object preference, and facial preferences in infants. Thirty-seven infants (10 to 12 months of age) were shown stimuli in which a female gazed towards or away from an object. Participants were assigned to initiating joint attention condition or responding joint attention condition. Results suggest that initiating joint attention promoted object information processing, whereas responding joint attention did not. Both joint attention conditions affected the facial preference for the person who engaged joint attention. In addition, after initiating joint attention, infants chose objects gazed by other person more often than after responding joint attention. It appears that attentional behaviours that precede the perception of certain stimuli affect infants’ cognitive responses to those stimuli.
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