Adults show a deficit in their ability to localize tactile stimuli to their hands when their arms are in the less familiar, crossed posture (e.g., Overvliet et al., ; Shore et al., ). It is thought that this ‘crossed-hands effect’ arises due to conflict (when the hands are crossed) between the anatomical and external frames of reference within which touches can be perceived. Pagel et al. () studied this effect in young children and observed that the crossed-hands effect first emerges after 5.5-years. In their task, children were asked to judge the temporal order of stimuli presented across their hands in quick succession. Here, we present the findings of a simpler task in which children were asked to localize a single vibrotactile stimulus presented to either hand. We also compared the effect of posture under conditions in which children either did, or did not, have visual information about current hand posture. With this method, we observed a crossed-hands effect in the youngest age-group testable; 4-year-olds. We conclude that young children localize tactile stimuli with respect to an external frame of reference from early in childhood or before (cf. Bremner et al., ). Additionally, when visual information about posture was made available, 4- to 5-year-olds’ tactile localization accuracy in the uncrossed-hands posture deteriorated and the crossed-hands effect disappeared. We discuss these findings with respect to visual–tactile-proprioceptive integration abilities of young children and examine potential sources of the discrepancies between our findings and those of Pagel et al. ().
Even when experimental conditions are kept constant, a robust and consistent finding in both behavioral and neural experiments designed to examine multisensory processing is striking variability. Although this variability has often been considered uninteresting noise (a term that is laden with strong connotations), emerging work suggests that differences in variability may be an important aspect in describing differences in performance between individuals and groups. In the current review, derived from a symposium at the 2015 International Multisensory Research Forum in Pisa, Italy, we focus on several aspects of variability as it relates to multisensory function. This effort seeks to expand our understanding of variability at levels of coding and analysis ranging from the single neuron through large networks and on to behavioral processes, and encompasses a number of the multimodal approaches that are used to evaluate and characterize multisensory processing including single-unit neurophysiology, electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and electrocorticography (ECoG).
The ability to form stable mental representations (or concepts) from a set of instances is fundamental to human visual cognition and is evident across the formation of prototypes, from simple pseudo-random dot patterns through to the recognition of faces. In this paper we argue that the cognitive and perceptual processes that lead to the formation of stable concepts are also important in understanding spectatorship of a certain class of serial artworks that are composed of multiple discrete but related pictures. This article considers the processes that enable the formation of stable mental representations in relation to a series of paintings of Rouen Cathedral by Claude Monet. The implications of understanding these processes for the spectatorship of this class of serial artworks are discussed.