Attention and cross-modal processing: Evidence from heart rate analyses

Abstract

The study of cross-modal processing has generated two seemingly contradictory sets of findings. Studies examining cross-modal processing in infants often find evidence that auditory input interferes with visual processing, whereas studies with adults often find evidence for visual input interfering with auditory processing. However, in the absence of amodal measures of auditory processing, it is possible that visual input also interferes with auditory processing in young infants. The primary goal of the current study was to examine this issue by focusing on Heart Rate (HR) to assess discrimination of unimodal auditory stimuli (Experiment 1), and to examine how visual stimuli affect auditory discrimination (Experiment 2). The results indicate that the presence of visual stimuli facilitated, rather than interfered with, auditory processing.


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