Visual-Proprioceptive Intermodal Perception Using Point Light Displays



Three experiments explored 5- and 7-month-old infants' intermodal coordination of proprioceptive information produced by leg movements, and visual movement information specifying these same motions. The visual information took the form of point light information for leg and feet movements, with visual displays presented in upright, ego-centered on-joint (Experiment 1, N=48); upright, ego-centered off-joint (Experiment 2, N=48); and inverted, observer-centered off-joint (Experiment 3, N=48) orientations. Measures of preferential looking indicated intermodal perception in infants of both ages while seeing on-joint, ego-centered orientations, and for 7-month-olds (and possibly 5-month-olds) while seeing off-joint, ego-centered displays; neither age group demonstrated intermodal perception for off-joint, observer-centered displays. These results suggest that coordination of visual and proprioceptive inputs is constrained by infants' information processing of the displays, and have implications for infants' growing understanding of their self-movement and the development of knowledge of the self.