Document Type




First Advisor's Name

Robert Lickliter

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Lorraine E. Bahrick

Third Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt


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.





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