Master of Science
Lorraine E. Bahrick
selective attention, intersensory redundancy, prenatal development
Date of Defense
Predictions of the Intersensory Redundancy Hypothesis (IRH) state that early in development information presented to a single sense modality (unimodal) selectively recruits attention to and enhances perceptual learning of modality-specific properties of stimulation at the expense of amodal properties, while information presented redundantly across two or more modalities (bimodal) results in enhanced perceptual learning of amodal properties. The present study explored these predictions during prenatal development by assessing bobwhite quail embryos’ detection of pitch, a modality-specific property, under conditions of unimodal and redundant bimodal stimulation. Chicks’ postnatal auditory preferences between the familiarized call and the same call with altered pitch were assessed following hatching. Unimodally-exposed chicks significantly preferred the familiarized call over the pitch-modified call, whereas bimodally-exposed chicks did not prefer the familiar call over the pitch-modified call. Results confirm IRH predictions, demonstrating unimodal exposure facilitates learning of modality-specific properties, whereas redundant bimodal stimulation interferes with learning of modality-specific properties.
Vaillant, Jimena, "Detection of Modality-Specific Properties in Unimodal and Bimodal Events during Prenatal Development" (2010). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 303.