Children can optimally integrate multisensory information after a short action‐like mini game training

Nava, Elena and Foecker, Julia and Gori, Monica (2019) Children can optimally integrate multisensory information after a short action‐like mini game training. Developmental Science . ISSN 1363-755X

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12840

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Children can optimally integrate multisensory information after a short action‐like mini game training
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Children can optimally integrate multisensory information after a short action‐like mini game training
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Abstract

Combining information across different sensory modalities is of critical importance for the animal's survival and a core feature of human's everyday life. In adulthood, sensory information is often integrated in a statistically optimal fashion, so that the combined estimates of two or more senses are more reliable than the best single one. Several studies have shown that young children use one sense to calibrate the others,
which results in unisensory dominance and undermines their optimal multisensory integration abilities. In this study we trained children aged 4–5 years with actionlike mini games, to determine whether it could improve their multisensory as well as their visuo‐spatial skills. Multisensory integration abilities were assessed using a visuo‐haptic size discrimination task, while visuo‐spatial attention skills were investigated using a multiple object tracking task (MOT). We found that 2‐weeks training were sufficient to observe both optimal multisensory integration and visuo‐spatial enhancements selectively in the group trained with action‐like mini games. This plastic change persisted up to 3 months, as assessed in a follow‐up. Our novel findings reveal that abilities that are commonly known to emerge in late childhood can be promoted in younger children through action‐like mini games and have long‐lasting effects. Our data have clinical implications, in that they suggest that specific trainings could potentially help children with multisensory integration deficits.

Keywords:video games, children, development, multisensory
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C812 Educational Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:35935
Deposited On:14 May 2019 07:58

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