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The integration of sensory cues across development

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Abstract: We live in a multi-sensory world in which cues related to an event may sometimes be redundant but at other times be in conflict. The same is can be said of sensory cues within a single modality. Children must learn not just to combine these cue but also to establish if the cues are reliable,or if some must be ignored. In this talk, I will discuss 2 examples of cue integration: visual cues in the perception of depth, and visual-proprioceptive cues in spatial localisation. In both case, optimal cue integration is not found until around 10 years of age. I will discuss possible reasons for this phenomenon.

Nardini, M.,  Begus, K., & Mareschal, D. (2012). Multisensory uncertainty reduction for hand localization in children and adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

M Nardini, R Bedford, D Mareschal (2010). Fusion of visual cues is not mandatory in children. Proceedings of the  National Academy of  Science U. S. A. 107(39), 17041-17046


Professor Denis Mareschal obtained his first degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University. He then completed a Masters in Psychology from McGill University before moving on to complete a PhD in psychology at Oxford University. He has received the Marr prize from the Cognitive Science Society (USA), the Young Investigator Award from the International Society on Infant Studies (USA), the Margaret Donaldson Prize from the British Psychological Society, and is co-recipient of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in Higher Education. Finally, he is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and a recipient of a Royal Society-Wolfson research merit award. His research centers on developing mechanistic models of perceptual and cognitive across infancy and childhood.

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