Does human touch facilitate object categorization in 6-to-9-month-old infants?

Girija Kadlaskar*, Sandra Waxman, Amanda Seidl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number940
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Categorization
  • Communication
  • Infants
  • Non-speech
  • Touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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