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Developmental changes in sensitivity to spatial and temporal properties of sensory integration underlying body representation

Greenfield, Katie; Ropar, Danielle; Themelis, Kristy; Ratcliffe, Natasha; Newport, Roger


Katie Greenfield

Kristy Themelis

Natasha Ratcliffe

Roger Newport


The closer in time and space that two or more stimuli are presented, the more likely it is that they will be integrated together. A recent study by Hillock-Dunn and Wallace (2012) reported that the size of the visuo-auditory temporal binding window — the interval within which visual and auditory inputs are highly likely to be integrated — narrows over childhood. However, few studies have investigated how sensitivity to temporal and spatial properties of multisensory integration underlying body representation develops in children. This is not only important for sensory processes but has also been argued to underpin social processes such as empathy and imitation (Schütz-Bosbachet al., 2006). We tested 4 to 11 year-olds’ ability to detect a spatial discrepancy between visual and proprioceptive inputs (Experiment One) and a temporal discrepancy between visual and tactile inputs (Experiment Two) for hand representation. The likelihood that children integrated spatially separated visuo-proprioceptive information, and temporally asynchronous visuo-tactile information, decreased significantly with age. This suggests that spatial and temporal rules governing the occurrence of multisensory integration underlying body representation are refined with age in typical development


Greenfield, K., Ropar, D., Themelis, K., Ratcliffe, N., & Newport, R. (2017). Developmental changes in sensitivity to spatial and temporal properties of sensory integration underlying body representation. Multisensory Research, 30(6),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 23, 2017
Publication Date Aug 10, 2017
Deposit Date Dec 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2017
Journal Multisensory Research
Print ISSN 2213-4794
Electronic ISSN 2213-4794
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 6
Keywords sensory processing; development; body representation; Multisensory integration; visual–tactile; visual–proprioceptive
Public URL
Publisher URL


FINAL changes accepted Greenfield et al. DMI _Revised manuscript.pdf (389 Kb)

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