The multisensory approach to development
Bremner AJ., Lewkowicz DJ., Spence C.
© Oxford University Press 2012. All rights reserved. Philosophers and psychologists alike have debated for centuries how humans and other species deal with the multiple sources of sensory information that specify the world around them. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in our understanding of multisensory processes in mature adults, which have led to the conclusion that multisensory processes are ubiquitous in mature psychological functioning. However, developmental research has also shown that multisensory integration takes time to develop and that early experience plays a key role in its development. This chapter describes how the development of multisensory functioning can both constrain and enrich perceptual and cognitive functioning through the lifespan. This chapter also reflects on the history of the field, and draws out some key themes of recent research in multisensory development.