The Role of Prenatal Intersensory Experience on Postnatal Social Development

                            Graduate Researcher: John Pablo Currea

 

    The intersensory redundancy hypothesis (IRH), proposed by Bahrick and Lickliter (2000, 2012), suggests that prenatal intersensory experience facilitates the development of perception, cognition, and social behavior after birth. In particular, because social events are full of intersensory redundanc, the IRH predicts that maternally-generated prenatal IR guides attention towards socially-relevant stimuli and towards the postnatal development of social motivation, peer recognition, and memory. Our previous research with the bobwhite quail has shown that prenatal IR (for example, a light flashing in synchrony with the notes of the maternal call) guides chicks' attention towards and strengthens their memory for that maternal call several days after hatching. This project is building on these and similar findings to understand the effects of prenatal IR on postnatal social abilities like social motivation and peer recognition. Further, we are assessing whether these social outcomes are influenced by IR between other sensory modalities such as audio-vestibular and visual-vestibular IR.