Posture support improves object individuation in infants.
Woods, Rebecca J.; Wilcox, Teresa
Developmental Psychology, Vol 49(8), Aug 2013, 1413-1424.
A hierarchical progression in infants’ ability to use surface features, such as color, as a basis for object individuation in the first year has been well established (Tremoulet, Leslie, & Hall, 2000; Wilcox, 1999). There is evidence, however, that infants’ sensitivity to surface features can be increased through multisensory (i.e., visuohaptic) exploration of objects (Wilcox, Woods, Chapa, & McCurry, 2007). Three studies were conducted to investigate the effect of multisensory experience on infants’ sensitivity to pattern information. Experiments 1 and 2 confirmed that 5.5- and 6.5-month-olds do not spontaneously use pattern differences to individuate objects and revealed that 6.5- but not 5.5-month-olds can be primed to attend to pattern differences if allowed multisensory experience with the objects prior to the individuation task. However, the 5.5-month-olds also had greater difficulty maintaining a self-sitting posture during the multisensory priming experience. In Experiment 3, 4.5- and 5.5-month-olds were given full postural support during the multisensory exploration period. In this situation, the 5.5-month-olds successfully individuated the objects, but even with full postural support, 4.5-month-old infants did not use the pattern differences to individuate the objects. These results demonstrate that multisensory priming is effective with infants as young as 5.5 months and extends multisensory priming to another surface feature, pattern. Furthermore, these results indicate that constraints are placed on the multisensory experience by the physical and motor development of the infant. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)