Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The goal of this study was to examine the role of audiovisual synchrony in 5- and 12-month-old infants’ attention to and processing of face stimuli. Infants were tested using an online platform called Lookit. In the first phase of the experiment, infants were familiarized with two videos presented simultaneously and side-by-side. Each video displayed a woman speaking in an infant-directed manner. A soundtrack was played that matched one of the videos (experimental condition) or neither of the videos (control condition). It was hypothesized that synchronous audiovisual presentation would attract infants’ attention and promote processing, especially among 12-month-olds. Visual-paired comparison (VPC) trials were completed to measure looking preferences for faces in the videos presented synchronously and asynchronously during familiarization and novel faces. The results showed that 12-month-olds spent a longer time fixated on the videos during the familiarization period, compared to 5-month-olds. However, results of the VPC trials indicated that both 5- and 12-month-olds failed to recognize the faces presented during familiarization. Taken together, the results from this study indicate that 12-month-olds may have been more engaged during familiarization than 5-month-olds, but that their exposure was not sufficient for face processing. It is possible that the stimuli were too complex to be processed during the familiarization period or that the multimodal stimulus presentation attracted infants’ attention to other stimulus properties.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.