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Hearing where the eyes see : children use an irrelevant visual cue when localising sound.

Petrini, K. and Jones, P.R. and Smith, L. and Nardini, M. (2015) 'Hearing where the eyes see : children use an irrelevant visual cue when localising sound.', Child development., 86 (5). pp. 1449-1457.


To reduce sensory uncertainty, humans combine cues from multiple senses. However, in everyday life, many co-occurring cues are irrelevant to the task at hand. How do humans know which cues to ignore? And does this ability change with development? This study shows the ability to ignore cross-modal irrelevant information develops late in childhood. Participants performed a sound discrimination task, with or without an irrelevant visual flash, presented synchronously in front of them. Adults ignored the irrelevant visual information, while 7- to 10-year-olds' responses were biased toward the flash location. The findings show that acquiring mature cue combination mechanisms is a multifaceted process that includes learning to ignore irrelevant cues, as well as to optimally combine relevant cues.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Petrini, K., Jones, P. R., Smith, L. and Nardini, M. (2015), Hearing Where the Eyes See: Children Use an Irrelevant Visual Cue When Localizing Sounds. Child Development, 86(5): 1449-1457, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:13 March 2015
Date deposited:02 March 2016
Date of first online publication:31 July 2015
Date first made open access:31 July 2017

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