Intermodal Perception

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Intermodal Perception. Objects and events in the infant’s perceptual world do not contain just either visual, auditory, etc. information Instead they contain information detected by multiple senses Further this information is coordinated across the senses.
Intermodal Perception
  • Objects and events in the infant’s perceptual world do not contain just either visual, auditory, etc. information
  • Instead they contain information detected by multiple senses
  • Further this information is coordinated across the senses.
  • Question: When and how do infant’s become sensitive to this multi-modal information
  • Intermodal Perception
  • Two schools of thought
  • Gibsonian (integrationist)
  • Information from the senses is initially integrated and with development become differentiated
  • Thus, perception is amodal - the information is not perceived as coming from any particular modality
  • The information is invariant across modalities
  • Amodal Perception
  • Walker-Andrews & Gibson (1983?)
  • Question: Do infants differentiate visual information about rigidity versus deformation of an object (haptic information)
  • So, familiarized 12-mo-olds either haptically (touch) or visually to either a rigid object or an elastic object
  • Then tested with the visual modality with a rigid and elastic object simultaneously
  • Walker-Andrews & GibsonIntermodal Perception
  • Meltzoff (1993) showed that infants as young as 29 days could match visual information and haptic information about a pacifier
  • Infants felt in their mouth either a smooth or rough pacifier
  • When tested only visually, they looked longer at the pacifier that they had previously only mouthed
  • Supports the Gibsonian/integrationist view
  • Intermodal Perception
  • The other school of thought proposes that young infants are unable to integrate information across modalities and that this ability develops over the first year.
  • Researchers have looked at the object/event properties that support integration and the development of infants’ sensitivity to these properties
  • Intermodal Properties
  • Intensity, Synchrony, Rate, Duration
  • Lewkowicz (1996) tested synchrony.
  • Familiarized with bouncing green disk and a sound at each
  • Asynchronous test trials where sound occurred either before or after bounce
  • Found even 2-mo-olds can tolerate asynchrony in the visual-auditory information
  • Lewkowicz (1996)Depth Perception
  • Morrongiello, Fenwick, & Nutley (1998)
  • Familiarized 2, 4, 6, and 8-mo-olds to two toys and sounds that matched both in synchrony and location
  • Four test conditions: Stat-Stat, Synch-Synch, Asynch-Asynch, and Synch-Stat
  • Morongiello et al. (1998)Co-locationSynchronyIntermodal Properties
  • Lewkowicz proposed a model of the development of intermodal temporal properties
  • Synchrony emerges first.
  • Then duration and rate
  • Rhythm develops last
  • Lewkowicz & Lickliter (1998) studied rate and found that sensitivity to this may begin to develop around 6-8 months of age
  • Intermodal Perception
  • One of the objects that is very salient in the infants’ world that has strong intermodal information is faces
  • Bahrick, Netto, & Hernandez-Reif (1998) examined synchrony in the intermodal perception of faces
  • Presented an adult face and child face side-by-side with the voice of one in synchrony
  • Intermodal Face MatchingBahrick et al.
  • 7-mo-olds were better at matching faces and voices than 4-mo-olds.
  • By second block of trials, with experience, 4-mo-olds were able to match
  • Further, overall, there was a preference for children’s faces than adults’
  • Subsequent experiment with inverted faces showed no matching but still a preference for children’s faces
  • Face Perception
  • The most important objects in the infant’s world are the faces of its caregivers and family
  • Can infants perceive face and thereby recognize them?
  • First, we need to ask whether infants can see a face.
  • Face Perception
  • Maurer & Salapatek (1976)
  • Found that 1-mo-olds seem to scan the borders of the face but do not look at the internal features
  • So look at areas of highest contrast
  • 2-mo-olds scan the internal features
  • Does not indicate whether infants can perceive the face as a whole
  • Face Perception
  • Hainline (1978) examine infants’ scanning of a face versus an nonface object in the shape of a face
  • Measured proportion of fixations to various portions of the two stimuli
  • Hainline (1978)Hainline (1978)
  • At all ages the face stimulus was fixated more than the non-face
  • There was a sharp increase in looking at the eyes of the face at 7 weeks of age
  • But no such increase to looking at the “eyes” of the non-face
  • Suggests that infants appreciate (and perceive) a “face” by around 7 weeks
  • Face Perception
  • Goren, Sarty, & Wu (1975) found that even newborns seem to appreciate the specialness of a face
  • Measure how much infants would turn their head or eyes in order to look at faces versus scrambled faces
  • Face Features
  • What information to infants use to perceive faces
  • Kleiner (1987) suggested that it is due to the stimulus energy (amount of bright and dark regions) of the face and not structure
  • Found that when you mixed the a lattice and a face, newborns would perceive a face when the amplitude was of the face but not when the phase was of the face
  • Face Features
  • Kleiner & Banks (1987) subsequently found that 2-mo-olds would perceive the face with the phase of a face but not the amplitude
  • Indicates that they perceived the structure of the face
  • Consistent with the findings of Maurer & Salapatek (1976) and Hainline (1978)
  • Face Features
  • Johnson, Dziurawiec, Bartrip, & Morton (1992) examined the effect of movement of facial features on infants’ perceptions
  • Only 5-mo-old showed a preference for moving
  • Brain Activity and Faces
  • It has been suggested that the processing of faces in humans is special and not directly related to the perception of other objects
  • Suggestion that we have special areas in brain that process faces
  • What about infants
  • de Haan & Nelson (1999) used ERPs to examine 6-mo-olds brain activity to faces versus objects
  • de Haan & Nelson (1999)
  • Indicate that initiation of a neural spike in the occipital lobe was faster with faces than with objects
  • That the effect of familiar versus novel items was seen specifically in the right anterior temporal lobe for faces but all over the temporal lobes for objects
  • Suggests that even in infants, faces are special
  • Supported by the fact that newborns are very quickly able to recognize their mother’s face that is not seen with other objects
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