Infant sensitivity to audiovisually coherent events

William Schiff, April A. Benasich, Marc H. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We examined 5-month-old infants' sensitivity to audiovisually coherent and incoherent events. A person speaking and an automobile with engine running were filmed approaching and receding with corresponding (coherent) soundtracks. Infants were tested with a habituation paradigm in which they observed coherent or incoherent films, involving, respectively, acoustical radial motion in the direction seen or opposite to the direction seen. Infants habituated to both person and car films, but coherent events uniformly yielded more rapid habituation than did incoherent ones. In addition, infants treated silent events more like audiovisual coherence than like incoherence. Infants habituated more to cars than to people, suggesting that a speaking person may especially maintain infant attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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