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7.6: Studying Sensory Development

  • Page ID
    142752
    • Amanda Taintor

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    The Study of Sensory Development

    There continues to be ongoing discussion and debate as to whether the development of multisensory processes is innate (though undoubtedly also tuned by environmental experiences) or instead develops after the child has several months of experiences with the sensory world (Dionne-Dostie et al. 2015). While objective and quantitative studies in very young children are challenging, a study by (Lewkowicz and Turkewitz 1980) measured 3–4 week-old infants' heart rates. It showed that these children could associate light and sound intensities. More recent results have shown that newborn infants can match numerosity across the senses (Izard et al. 2009) and that 4-month-old infants are sensitive to the spatial congruence of auditory-tactile events (Thomas et al. 2018). However, one constraint of most studies on infants and young children is that they are typically based on child-appropriate behavioral measures, such as preferential looking. Consequently, they provide limited insights into the putative neurobiological mechanisms and maturation of multisensory processes.[1]


    [1] Maitre, N.L., Key, A.P., Slaughter, J.C. et al. Neonatal Multisensory Processing in Preterm and Term Infants Predicts Sensory Reactivity and Internalizing Tendencies in Early Childhood. CC BY


    This page titled 7.6: Studying Sensory Development is shared under a mixed 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Amanda Taintor.