Continuity in tactual-visual cross-modal transfer: infancy to 11 years

Dev Psychol. 1998 May;34(3):435-40. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.34.3.435.


The present study demonstrated that individual differences in cross-modal transfer showed continuity over a 10-year span. Tactual-visual tasks, requiring visual recognition of shapes that had previously been felt but not seen, were given to full-term and preterm children at 2 ages, 1 and 11 years. Cross-modal performance showed a left-hand advantage at 11 years and, for both groups, cross-age correlations were significant when tactual exploration at 11 years was done with the left hand (r = .34-.36). The continuity showed some specificity in that the infant measure did not relate to other types of cross-modal performance at 11 years and was not dependent on aspects of spatial ability involving form perception. This continuity accounted for most of the previously reported relation of infant cross-modal ability to 11-year IQ.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Psychophysics
  • Reference Values
  • Space Perception
  • Stereognosis*
  • Touch*
  • Transfer, Psychology*