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The Effects of Auditory Information on 4-Month-Old Infants’ Perception of Trajectory Continuity

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  • This work was supported by Economic & Social Research Council Grant R000239979 and NIH Grants HD40432 and HD 48733. 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.

concerning this article should be addressed to J. Gavin Bremner, Psychology Department, Centre for Research in Human Development and Learning, Lancaster University, LA1 4YF, UK. Electronic mail may be sent to j.g.bremner@lancaster.ac.uk.

Abstract

Young infants perceive an object’s trajectory as continuous across occlusion provided the temporal or spatial gap in perception is small. In 3 experiments involving 72 participants the authors investigated the effects of different forms of auditory information on 4-month-olds’ perception of trajectory continuity. Provision of dynamic auditory information about the object’s trajectory enhanced perception of trajectory continuity. However, a smaller positive effect was also obtained when the sound was continuous but provided no information about the object’s location. Finally, providing discontinuous auditory information or auditory information that was dislocated relative to vision had negative effects on trajectory perception. These results are discussed relative to the intersensory redundancy hypothesis and emphasize the need to take an intersensory approach to infant perception.

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