Infants form object categories in the first months of life. By 3 months and throughout the first year, successful categorization varies as a function of the acoustic information presented in conjunction with category members. Here we ask whether tactile information, delivered in conjunction with category members, also promotes categorization. Six-to 9-month-olds participated in an object categorization task in either a touch-cue or no-cue condition. For infants in the touch-cue condition, familiarization images were accompanied by precisely-timed light touches from their caregivers; infants in the no-cue condition saw the same images but received no touches. Only infants in the touch-cue condition formed categories. This provides the first evidence that touch may play a role in supporting infants’ object categorization.
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