Perception of object persistence across occlusion emerges at around 4 months of age for objects moving horizontally or vertically. In addition, congruent auditory information for movement enhances perception of persistence of an object moving horizontally. In two experiments, we examined the effect of presenting bimodal (visual and auditory) sensory information, both congruently and incongruently, for a vertical moving object occlusion event. A total of 68 4-month-old infants (34 girls) were tested for perception of persistence of an object moving up and down, passing at each translation behind a centrally placed occluder. Infants were exposed to these visual events accompanied by no sound, spatially colocated sound, or congruent or incongruent pitch–height correspondence sounds. Both spatially colocated and congruent pitch–height auditory information enhanced perception of trajectory continuity. However, no impairment occurred when pitch–height sound information was presented incongruently. These results highlight the importance of taking a multisensory approach to infant perceptual development.
Tham, D. S. Y., Rees, A., Bremner, J. G., Slater, A., & Johnson, S. (2019). Auditory information for spatial location and pitch–height correspondence support young infants’ perception of object persistence. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 178, 341–351. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2018.05.017