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Two- to Eight-Month-Old Infants’ Perception of Dynamic Auditory–Visual Spatial Colocation

Authors


  • This work was supported by Economic & Social Research Council Grant R000239979 and National Institutes of Health Grants HD40432 and HD48733. The authors acknowledge the assistance of staff of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust in recruitment and are grateful to parents and infants who took part in the work. The authors are also grateful to the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their useful contribution to improving the interpretation of the work.

concerning this article should be addressed to J. Gavin Bremner, Psychology Department, Centre for Research in Human Development, Lancaster University, UK. Electronic mail may be sent to j.g.bremner@lancaster.ac.uk.

Abstract

From birth, infants detect associations between the locations of static visual objects and sounds they emit, but there is limited evidence regarding their sensitivity to the dynamic equivalent when a sound-emitting object moves. In 4 experiments involving thirty-six 2-month-olds, forty-eight 5-month-olds, and forty-eight 8-month-olds, we investigated infants’ ability to process this form of spatial colocation. Whereas there was no evidence of spontaneous sensitivity, all age groups detected a dynamic colocation during habituation and looked longer at test trials in which sound and sight were dislocated. Only 2-month-olds showed clear sensitivity to the dislocation relation, although 8-month-olds did so following additional habituation. These results are discussed relative to the intersensory redundancy hypothesis and work suggesting increasing specificity in processing with age.

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