Children's looking preference for biological motion may be related to an affinity for mathematical chaos

Joshua L. Haworth, Anastasia Kyvelidou, Wayne Fisher, Nicholas Stergiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Recognition of biological motion is pervasive in early child development. Further, viewing the movement behavior of others is a primary component of a child's acquisition of complex, robust movement repertoires, through imitation and real-time coordinated action. We theorize that inherent to biological movements are particular qualities of mathematical chaos and complexity. We further posit that this character affords the rich and complex inter-dynamics throughout early motor development. Specifically, we explored whether children's preference for biological motion may be related to an affinity for mathematical chaos. Cross recurrence quantification analysis (cRQA) was used to investigate the coordination of gaze and posture with various temporal structures (periodic, chaotic, and aperiodic) of the motion of an oscillating visual stimulus. Children appear to competently perceive and respond to chaotic motion, both in rate (cRQA-percent determinism) and duration (cRQA-maxline) of coordination. We interpret this to indicate that children not only recognize chaotic motion structures, but also have a preference for coordination with them. Further, stratification of our sample (by age) uncovers the suggestion that this preference may become refined with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Complex systems
  • Cross recurrence quantification analysis
  • Eye tracking
  • Perception
  • Sensorimotor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this