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July 2022

Infants' understanding of auditory events

Author(s): VanVorst, R. F., Brunner, S. M., Zucker, M. S.

Journal/Book: Infant Child Dev. 1999; 8: Baffins Lane Chichester, W Sussex PO19 1UD, England. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 85-100.

Abstract: Infants' reaching-in-the-dark was studied in a sample of normal 7.5-11-month-olds to determine whether infants can use sound cues to localize and recognize the action and objects of complex events. Infants were shown an event in which a moving, sounding object rotated clockwise through the infant's reaching space in the light and dark. Infrared recorded videotapes were later coded for reaching behaviour. Results showed that infants were able to localize the object on most trials in the dark but were slower and less efficient than in the light. Infants grasped the object at first contact and contacted the object near its salient feature in the dark, suggesting recognition of the object. Further, contact time was 1.7 s less when infants grasped the object at first contact in the dark (recognition) than when they touched the object, suggesting that recognition of the object improves reaching efficiency. There were no age and gender differences. In sum, the results support the use of the reaching-in-the-dark method to demonstrate auditory localization of moving sounds and to reveal infants capacity to use represented information to guide subsequent action.

Note: Article LaGasse LL, Women & Infants Hosp, Infant Dev Ctr, 101 Dudley St, Providence,RI 02903 USA

Keyword(s): infant cognition; reaching; auditory localization; mental representation; exploration; OBJECT PERMANENCE; HIDDEN OBJECT; 8-MONTH-OLD INFANTS; HAND ORIENTATION; REPRESENTATION; PERCEPTION; LOCATION; HEIGHT; DARK

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