ERIC Number: EJ823509
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Sound of Darkness: Why Do Auditory Cues Aid Infants' Search for Objects Hidden by Darkness but Not by Visible Occluders?
Shinskey, Jeanne L.
Developmental Psychology, v44 n6 p1715-1725 Nov 2008
In manual search tasks designed to assess infants' knowledge of the object concept, why does search for objects hidden by darkness precede search for objects hidden by visible occluders by several months? A graded representations account explains this decalage by proposing that the conflicting visual input from occluders directly competes with object representations, whereas darkness merely weakens representations. This study tests the prediction that representations of objects hidden by darkness are strong enough for infants to bind auditory cues to them and support search, whereas representations of objects hidden by occluders are not. Six-and-half-month-olds were presented with audible or silent objects that remained visible, became hidden by darkness, or became hidden by a visible occluder. Search required engaging in the same means-end action in all conditions. As predicted, auditory cues increased search when objects were hidden by darkness but not when they were hidden by a visible occluder. Results are discussed in the context of different facets of object concept development highlighted by graded representations perspectives and core knowledge perspectives and in relation to other work on multimodal object representations.
Descriptors: Object Permanence, Cues, Infants, Concept Formation, Auditory Stimuli, Task Analysis, Child Development, Prediction, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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