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Multisensory Uncertainty Reduction for Hand Localization in Children and Adults

Nardini, M; Begus, K; Mareschal, D

Multisensory Uncertainty Reduction for Hand Localization in Children and Adults Thumbnail


K Begus

D Mareschal


Adults can integrate multiple sensory estimates to reduce their uncertainty in perceptual and motor tasks. In recent studies, children did not show this ability until after 8 years. Here we investigated development of the ability to integrate vision with proprioception to localize the hand. We tested 109 4- to 12-year-olds and adults on a simple pointing task. Participants used an unseen hand beneath a table to point to targets presented on top of the table to vision alone, proprioception alone, or both together. Overall, 7- to 9-year-olds’ and adults’ points were significantly less variable given vision and proprioception together compared with either alone. However, this variance reduction was present at all ages in the subset of participants whose proprioceptive estimates were less than two times more variable than their visual. These results, together with analyses of cue weighting, indicate that all groups integrated vision and proprioception, but only 7- to 9-year-olds and adults consistently selected cue weights that were appropriate to their own single-cue reliabilities. Cue weights used at 4–6 and 10–12 years still allowed over half of participants at these ages to reduce their pointing variability. One explanation for poorer group-level cue weighting at 10–12 years is that this ages represents a period of relatively rapid physical growth. An existing Bayesian model of hand localization did not describe either adults’ or children’s data well, but the results suggest future improvements to the model.


Nardini, M., Begus, K., & Mareschal, D. (2013). Multisensory Uncertainty Reduction for Hand Localization in Children and Adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39(3), 773-787.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2013
Deposit Date Oct 1, 2013
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2015
Journal Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Print ISSN 0096-1523
Electronic ISSN 1939-1277
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 3
Pages 773-787
Keywords Development, Multisensory, Pointing, Proprioception, Vision, Children, Adults, Hand localization, Uncertainty, Perceptual task.


Accepted Journal Article (1.6 Mb)

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© 2013 APA, all rights reserved. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.

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