Development of visuo-haptic transfer for object recognition in typical preschool and school-aged children

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Object recognition is a long and complex adaptive process and its full maturation requires combination of many different sensory experiences as well as cognitive abilities to manipulate previous experiences in order to develop new percepts and subsequently to learn from the environment. It is well recognized that the transfer of visual and haptic information facilitates object recognition in adults, but less is known about development of this ability. In this study, we explored the developmental course of object recognition capacity in children using unimodal visual information, unimodal haptic information, and visuo-haptic information transfer in children from 4 years to 10 years and 11 months of age. Participants were tested through a clinical protocol, involving visual exploration of black-and-white photographs of common objects, haptic exploration of real objects, and visuo-haptic transfer of these two types of information. Results show an age-dependent development of object recognition abilities for visual, haptic, and visuo-haptic modalities. A significant effect of time on development of unimodal and crossmodal recognition skills was found. Moreover, our data suggest that multisensory processes for common object recognition are active at 4 years of age. They facilitate recognition of common objects, and, although not fully mature, are significant in adaptive behavior from the first years of age. The study of typical development of visuo-haptic processes in childhood is a starting point for future studies regarding object recognition in impaired populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 22 2017


  • development
  • multisensory processing
  • object recognition
  • visuo-haptic recognition
  • Visuo-haptic transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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