Intersensory redundancy guides the development of selective attention, perception, and cognition in infancy
Date of this Version
That the senses provide overlapping information for objects and events is no extravagance of nature. This overlap facilitates attention to critical aspects of sensory stimulation, those that are redundantly specified, and attenuates attention to nonredundantly specified stimulus properties. This selective attention is most pronounced in infancy and gives initial advantage to the perceptual processing of, learning of, and memory for stimulus properties that are redundant, or amodal (e.g., synchrony, rhythm, and intensity), at the expense of modality-specific properties (e.g., color, pitch, and timbre) that can be perceived through only one sense. We review evidence supporting this hypothesis and discuss its implications for theories of perceptual, cognitive, and social development.
Bahrick, Lorraine E.; Lickliter, Robert; and Flom, Ross, "Intersensory redundancy guides the development of selective attention, perception, and cognition in infancy" (2004). Department of Psychology. 64.