The development of intersensory temporal perception: an epigenetic systems/limitations view

Psychol Bull. 2000 Mar;126(2):281-308. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.126.2.281.


Several theories have stressed the importance of intersensory integration for development but have not identified specific underlying integration mechanisms. The author reviews and synthesizes current knowledge about the development of intersensory temporal perception and offers a theoretical model based on epigenetic systems theory, proposing that responsiveness to 4 basic features of multimodal temporal experience--temporal synchrony, duration, temporal rate, and rhythm--emerges in a sequential, hierarchical fashion. The model postulates that initial developmental limitations make intersensory synchrony the basis for the integration of intersensory temporal relations and that the emergence of responsiveness to the other, increasingly more complex, temporal relations occurs in a hierarchical, sequential fashion by building on the previously acquired intersensory temporal processing skills.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Auditory Perception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Sensation*
  • Time Perception*
  • Visual Perception