NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ830946
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jan
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Shake, Rattle, and ... One or Two Objects? Young Infants' Use of Auditory Information to Individuate Objects
Wilcox, Teresa; Woods, Rebecca; Tuggy, Lisa; Napoli, Roman
Infancy, v9 n1 p97-123 Jan 2006
Most research on object individuation in infants has focused on the visual domain. Yet the problem of object individuation is not unique to the visual system, but shared by other sensory modalities. This research examined 4.5-month-old infants' capacity to use auditory information to individuate objects. Infants were presented with events in which they heard 2 distinct sounds, separated by a temporal gap, emanate from behind a wide screen; the screen was then lowered to reveal 1 or 2 objects. Longer looking to the 1- than 2-object display was taken as evidence that the infants (a) interpreted the auditory event as involving 2 objects and (b) found the presence of only 1 object when the screen was lowered unexpected. The results indicated that the infants used sounds produced by rattles, but not sounds produced by an electronic keyboard, as the basis for object individuation (Experiments 1 and 2). Data collected with adult participants revealed that adults are also more sensitive to rattle sounds than electronic tones. A final experiment assessed conditions under which young infants attend to rattle sounds (Experiment 3). Collectively, the outcomes of these experiments suggest that infants and adults are more likely to use some sounds than others as the basis for individuating objects. We propose that these results reflect a processing bias to attend to sounds that reveal something about the physical properties of an object--sounds that are obviously linked to object structure--when determining object identity. (Contains 3 figures and 4 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A