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Vision: Attracted to High-Contrast Patterns/Edges (0-2 Months)

Several different experiments show that babies will turn toward patterns with high contrast and away from simple patterns with little contrast. For example, infants tend to be interested in objects or images with bold checkerboard patterns or bulls-eye patterns that have sharp contrasting colors. Many researchers think that newborns are attracted to the edges of objects and areas of contrast because they often indicate where objects begin and end. Sensitivity to contrast improves from 1 to 3 months.


Banks, M. S., & Ginsburg, A. P. (1985). Infant visual preferences: A review and new theoretical treatment. In Reese, H. W. (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

Fantz, R. L. (1963). Pattern vision in newborn infants. Science, 140, 296