Shaking things up: young infants' use of sound information for object individuation

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Title: Shaking things up: young infants' use of sound information for object individuation
Author: Smith, Tracy Rebecca
Abstract: Object individuation , the capacity to determine whether two perceptual encounters belong to the same object or two different objects , is one of the most basic cognitive abilities and provides a foundation for infants ? understanding of the physical world . Yet very little work has been done to explore infants ? use of auditory information to individuate objects . The first research to investigate infants ? use of sound information to individuate objects was reported by Wilcox et al . (2006 ) , who used a violation -ofexpectation task to examine the extent to which 4 .5 -month -olds use differences in sound to individuate objects . The results suggested that 4 .5 -month -olds use property -rich sounds (sounds intimately related to an objects ? physical , amodal properties ) but not property -poor sounds (sounds that are more contrived ) to distinguish the identity of objects involved in occlusion events . The current study investigated infants ? sensitivity to these two types of sounds within the context of a search task . Three experiments were conducted with infants aged 5 to 7 months . The outcome of these experiments builds and extends on the findings of Wilcox et al . in three ways . First , converging evidence was obtained , using a search task , that young infants are more sensitive to property -rich than property -poor sounds . Second , more detailed information was obtained on infants ? interpretation of samesounds events (two identical , rather than two different , sounds ) . Finally , possible explanations for infants ? greater sensitivity to property -rich sounds were assessed . The outcome of these studies , collectively , provides insight into the types of sounds that infants use to identify objects and the reasons why some sounds are more salient to infants than others .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2591
Date: 2009-05-15

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Shaking things up: young infants' use of sound information for object individuation. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2591 .

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