Children use one sense at a time to judge things

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Washington, May 3 (UNI) Children perceive the world around them by using only one sense at a time, not a combination of them, studies say.

Unlike grown-ups who integrate information obtaind visually with that obtained through sense of touch or hearing, children younger than eight cannot integrate different forms of sensory input to improve the accuracy with which they judge things, according to a pair of studies reported online in Current Biology.

In two seperate studies, researchers ran the children through a set of experiments involving two senses at a time to see if they could integrate the senses, just as adults do.

The first study involved a simple task using vision and touch where children were asked to judge which of two blocks was taller, or which of two bars was oriented more counterclockwise. Another study examined children's ability to use their senses of vision and motion to return an object to its original place.

Both the studies found that children generally used either of their senses to get the job done, not both.

The study suggested that children's inability to integrate different kinds of spatial information is the reason why they are liable to get lost and disoriented Researchers believe children use only one sense at a time because they are still in the process of rapid growth.

''Kids have to stay calibrated while they are growing all the time - their eyes get farther apart and their limbs longer,'' David Burr, author of one of the studies said. Under these conditions, ''they may use one sense to calibrate the other,'' he added.


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