Learning to Attend Selectively: The Dual Role of Intersensory Redundancy

Curr Dir Psychol Sci. 2014 Dec;23(6):414-420. doi: 10.1177/0963721414549187.


Selective attention is the gateway to perceptual processing, learning, and memory, and is a skill honed through extensive experience. However, little research has focused on how selective attention develops. Here we synthesize established and new findings assessing the central role of redundancy across the senses in guiding and constraining this process in infancy and early childhood. We highlight research demonstrating the dual role of intersensory redundancy -- its facilitating and interfering effects-- on detection and perceptual processing of various properties of objects and events.

Keywords: attentional salience; development of perception; intersensory redundancy; selective attention.