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    Are two cues always better than one? The role of multiple intra-sensory cues compared to multi-cross-sensory cues in children’s incidental category learning

    Broadbent, Hannah and Osborne, Tamsin and Mareschal, Denis and Kirkham, Natasha Z. (2020) Are two cues always better than one? The role of multiple intra-sensory cues compared to multi-cross-sensory cues in children’s incidental category learning. Cognition 199 (104202), ISSN 0010-0277.

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    Simultaneous presentation of multisensory cues has been found to facilitate children’s learning to a greater extent than unisensory cues (e.g., Broadbent, White, Mareschal, & Kirkham, 2017). Current research into children’s multisensory learning, however, does not address whether these findings are due to having multiple cross-sensory cues that enhance stimuli perception or a matter of having multiple cues, regardless of modality, that are informative to category membership. The current study examined the role of multiple cross-sensory cues (e.g., audio-visual) compared to multiple intra-sensory cues (e.g., two visual cues) on children’s incidental category learning. On a computerized incidental category learning task, children aged six to ten years (N= 454) were allocated to either a visual-only (V: unisensory), auditory-only (A: unisensory), audio-visual (AV: multisensory), visual-visual (VV: multi-cue) or auditory-auditory (AA: multi-cue) condition. In children over eight years of age, the availability of two informative cues, regardless of whether they had been presented across two different modalities or within the same modality, was found to be more beneficial to incidental learning than with unisensory cues. In six-year-olds, however, the presence of multiple auditory cues (AA) did not facilitate learning to the same extent as multiple visual cues (VV) or when cues were presented across two different modalities (AV). The findings suggest that multiple sensory cues presented across or within modalities may have differential effects on children’s incidental learning across middle childhood, depending on the sensory domain in which they are presented. Implications for the use of multi-cross-sensory and multiple-intra-sensory cues for children’s learning across this age range are discussed.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): multisensory, cognitive development, incidental learning, intra-sensory cues, audiovisual
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2020 13:02
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:57


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