Thumbnail Image

Infant phenotypes and correlation of life history and attachment: An eye-tracking study

Argo, Matthew K.
The continuation of genetics and offspring survival is important for the fitness of animals, including humans. The allocation of finite resources is a part of the life history strategy approach, in which determining if reproduction is viable, or if one will prosper in the current environment. The overall health of the infant can signal to the caregivers the state of its care. What is to be determined is if life history strategies imposed by the parents effect the visual attention put upon the infant, and what is the area of focus. In this investigation, an eye-tracker was used to follow the eye movements of (N = 239) college student participants as they viewed images of infant phenotypes. A preference task was set in place to analyze which infant phenotype was most preferred. In the early viewing period (first fixation duration) the head region drew more focus, however during the latter period (total duration, and dwell time) focus on the torso, mostly the overweight torso increased. This study shows that infant phenotype does influence and attract visual attention.