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Cross-Modal Perception: Can Relate What They Feel with What They See (1-4 Months)

For infants to make sense of the sights, sounds, and feelings that buzz around them, they need to coordinate this input and make associations between one sense (e.g., touch) and another (e.g., sight). This ability is called “intermodal matching.” Very young infants are capable of relating what they feel with what they see. In one study, one-month-old infants could pick out the image of a pacifier that had recently been experienced only by sucking from a group of other images. Another study found that one-month-old infants could identify a hard or soft object that they had previously mouthed but had not seen. These infants could match what the objects felt like with what the objects looked like.


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Meltzoff, A. N., & Borton, R. W. (1979). Intermodal matching by human neonates. Nature, 282(5737), 403-404. (SSCI: 154)

Patterson, M. L., & Werker, J. F. (2003). Two-month-old infants match phonetic information in lips and voice. Developmental Science, 6(2), 191-196. (SSCI: 4)