Intermodal Perception is the integration of information gathered from two or more stimuli of different sensory modes. That is to say using more than one of your five senses together. Many actions provide both an auditory and visual stimulus, that the brain perceives as a unit, for example playing a guitar and strumming, the brain connects these individual stimuli one auditory and one visual. This seems very trivial and is easily taken for granted, in adults, but could present challenges for infants.
Testing of Intermodal Perception in infants[change]
Elizabeth Spelke, a cognitive psychologist, Tested Infants ability to match both auditory and visual stimuli in 1979 with this experiment. Four month old infants were shown two videos at the same time, both played music and displayed puppets dancing. In one of the videos the puppets movements were synchronized with the music, in the second, they were not. Spelke determined that infants looked more at the video in which the movements were synchronized than the video were they were not by measuring their gaze. This supports the idea that infants can match auditory and visual stimuli through Intermodal Perception.
It is thought that a newborn possesses very crude ability to match auditory with visual stimuli. Newborns will often look in the direction of an object making noise, but auditory and visual perception are not developed enough at this point to accurately make intermodal perceptions. This ability to mentally connect stimuli from different modes of perception, is possessed in a crude form for the first six months of an infants life, but develops from significantly from six months to a year in age.