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Dev Sci. 2009 Jul;12(4):504-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00794.x.

Information from multiple modalities helps 5-month-olds learn abstract rules.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. mcfrank@mit.edu

Erratum in

  • Dev Sci. 2013 Mar;16(2):324.
  • Erratum. [Dev Sci. 2013]

Abstract

By 7 months of age, infants are able to learn rules based on the abstract relationships between stimuli (Marcus et al., 1999), but they are better able to do so when exposed to speech than to some other classes of stimuli. In the current experiments we ask whether multimodal stimulus information will aid younger infants in identifying abstract rules. We habituated 5-month-olds to simple abstract patterns (ABA or ABB) instantiated in coordinated looming visual shapes and speech sounds (Experiment 1), shapes alone (Experiment 2), and speech sounds accompanied by uninformative but coordinated shapes (Experiment 3). Infants showed evidence of rule learning only in the presence of the informative multimodal cues. We hypothesize that the additional evidence present in these multimodal displays was responsible for the success of younger infants in learning rules, congruent with both a Bayesian account and with the Intersensory Redundancy Hypothesis.

PMID:
19635078
PMCID:
PMC2718773
DOI:
10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00794.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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