4th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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David Lewkowicz

Perception of audiovisual sequences in human infants

David Lewkowicz
NYS Institute for Basic Research in DD

Stuart Marcovitch
NYS Institute for Basic Research in DD

     Abstract ID Number: 128
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: May 20, 2003

Serial order is fundamental to perception, cognition, and behavioral action. Previously, we have investigated infants’ perception of audiovisually specified serial order and the separate contribution of auditory and visual information to this process. We found that 4-month-old infants only detected auditory-visual order changes but that 8-month-olds detected visual, auditory, and auditory-visual changes. These studies raised the possibility that infants based their discriminative response on the difference in the first element of the series rather than on a change in the overall sequential order. Here we tested this possibility by habituating 4-month-olds to a series of 3 distinct moving objects that appeared sequentially at the top of a monitor, moved down, hit a visible surface, made a distinct impact sound, and moved off to the right. Following habituation, each infant was tested for discrimination of auditory, visual, and audiovisual order changes in separate test trials. In these trials, the first element of the series remained the same but the order of the two subsequent ones changed. Infants discriminated the audiovisual and the auditory order changes, showing that their perception of audiovisually specified temporal order is not dependent on a “local” property of a sequence but on its “global” overall ordering.

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