Do infants represent human actions cross-modally? An ERP visual-auditory priming study

Elena Geangu, Elisa Roberti, Chiara Turati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent findings indicate that 7-months-old infants perceive and represent the sounds inherent to moving human bodies. However, it is not known whether infants integrate auditory and visual information in representations of specific human actions. To address this issue, we used ERPs to investigate infants’ neural sensitivity to the correspondence between sounds and images of human actions. In a cross-modal priming paradigm, 7-months-olds were presented with the sounds generated by two types of human body movement, walking and handclapping, after watching the kinematics of those actions in either a congruent or incongruent manner. ERPs recorded from frontal, central and parietal electrodes in response to action sounds indicate that 7-months-old infants perceptually link the visual and auditory cues of human actions. However, at this age, these percepts do not seem to be integrated in cognitive multimodal representations of human actions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108047
Number of pages14
JournalBiological psychology
Early online date14 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Elsevier B.V. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • infancy
  • multisensory
  • auditory
  • human action
  • visual
  • ERPs

Cite this