Multisensory Integration and Calibration in Children and Adults with and without Sensory and Motor Disabilities

In: Multisensory Research
Author: Monica Gori1
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  • 1 Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163 Genoa, Italy
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During the first years of life, sensory modalities communicate with each other. This process is fundamental for the development of unisensory and multisensory skills. The absence of one sensory input impacts on the development of other modalities. Since 2008 we have studied these aspects and developed our cross-sensory calibration theory. This theory emerged from the observation that children start to integrate multisensory information (such as vision and touch) only after 8–10 years of age. Before this age the more accurate sense teaches (calibrates) the others; when one calibrating modality is missing, the other modalities result impaired. Children with visual disability have problems in understanding the haptic or auditory perception of space and children with motor disabilities have problems in understanding the visual dimension of objects. This review presents our recent studies on multisensory integration and cross-sensory calibration in children and adults with and without sensory and motor disabilities. The goal of this review is to show the importance of interaction between sensory systems during the early period of life in order to correct perceptual development to occur.

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