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Modality-specific and amodal aspects of object perception in infancy: The case of active touch

Three experiments investigated infants' perception of the unity and boundaries of haptically presented objects. A total of 9 adults and 32 4-5 mo olds participated in the study. When infants actively explored the 2 handles of an unseen object assembly, perception of the unity of the assembly depended on the handles' motion. Ss perceived a single, connected object if the handles moved rigidly together, and they perceived 2 distinct objects if the handles underwent relative vertical or horizontal motion. When Ss passively explored the same object assembly undergoing the same motions, object perception appeared to be indeterminate. Findings of the active motion experiments suggest that object perception depends on amodal processes, operating on representations of either seen or felt surface motions. Findings of the passive motion experiments nevertheless suggest a difference between visual and haptic perception. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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