Child Sensory Experiences (01-22-21)

Ross and team’s research confirms that responses to sensory experiences by children do not always directly align with those of adults, a finding that supports user age group-specific research.  The investigators report that “When adults are presented with basic multimodal sensory stimuli, the Colavita effect suggests that they have a visual dominance, whereas more recent research finds that an auditory sensory dominance may be present in children under 8 years of age. . . . Here we presented children and adults with multimodal social stimuli consisting of emotional bodies and voices, asking them to recognize the emotion in one modality while ignoring the other. We found that adults can perform this task with no detrimental effects on performance regardless of whether the ignored emotion was congruent or not. However, children find it extremely challenging to recognize bodily emotion while trying to ignore incongruent vocal emotional information. In several instances, they performed below chance level. . . . this is the first evidence, to our knowledge, of an auditory dominance in children when presented with emotionally meaningful stimuli.”  

Paddy Ross, Beth Atkins, Laura Allison, Holly Simpson, Catherine Duffell, Matthew Williams, and Olga Ermolina.  2021. “Children Cannot Ignore What They Hear: Incongruent Emotional Informaiton Leeds to an Auditory Dominance in Children.”  Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 204, 105068, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2020.105068