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Child Dev. 1981 Sep;52(3):827-32.

Intersensory interaction in newborns: modification of visual preferences following exposure to sound.


The present study investigated intersensory interaction between auditory and visual stimulation in newborn infants. Stimulation in 1 modality may influence the response to stimulation in a second modality by changing the infant's state of arousal. To test this possibility, newborns' visual preferences for light patches of different intensity were examined following auditory stimulation. Visual preferences in infants not previously exposed to sound described an inverted U, indicating a preference for the light of intermediate intensity. In contrast, infants who were first exposed to sound preferred the light or lowest intensity. The results indicate that newborns attend to quantitative variations in stimulation and that these variations reflect both the objective stimulus intensity and organismic factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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