Visual and Auditory Information Processing in Children and Adults

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Science  19 May 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3777, pp. 986-988
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3777.986


Children of three ages were compared with adults in a recognition experiment requiring continuous processing of information. The growth in precision for visually presented words is steeper than for auditorially presented words, largely because the former are harder for the first graders and, to a lesser extent, for the third graders. In adults, visual processing of information is at least as good as auditory. The use of receiver operating characteristic curves in describing the data permit greater precision in estimating the capacity of the individual subjects and are particularly useful since the errors of failure to recognize were different from ordinary errors of false recognition, and they occurred in large numbers.