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Lecture 2

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McMaster University
Jeff Landry

Chapter 5Basic Sensory and Perceptual ProcessesSensory and perceptual processes are the means by which people receive select modify and organize stimulation from the world it is the first step in the complex process that eventually results in knowingThey are closely linked to motor skillscoordinated movements of the muscle and limbsHabituation is the phenomenon when a novel stimulus is presented babies pay much attention but they pay less attention as it becomes more familiar oResearchers use habituation to study perception by seeing if the baby is able to distinguish between two stimuliSmile Taste and TouchNewborns have a keen sense of smell they respond either positivelynegatively to pleasantunpleasant smellsoNewborns will look in the direction of a pad that is saturated with their own amniotic fluidoThey will also turn toward a pad saturated with the odour of their mothers breast or her perfumeNewborns have a highly developed sense of tasteoMost have a sweet tooththey react to sweet substances by smiling and licking their lipsNewborns are also sensitive to touchoBecause infants cant express their agony when they are in pain we must use indirect evidence ie CryingHearingInfants dont hear as well as adultsAuditory threshold refers to the quietest sound that a person can hearTesting shows that infants hear sounds best that have pitches in the range of human speechneither very high nor very low pitched infants can differentiate vowels from consonant sounds and by 4months they can recognize their own namesCan distinguish different melodiesprefer classical pleasant sounding over dissonant onesInfants also use sound to locate objects determining whether they are to the left or to the right and nearby or far away SeeingVisual acuity is defined as the smallest pattern that can be distinguished dependablyoWhen infants look at two stimuli equally it indicates that they are no longer able to distinguish the stripes of the patterned stimulusoBy measuring the width of the stripes and their distance from an infants eye we can estimate acuity detecting thinner stripes indicates better acuitySo 1 year olds can see as well as adults with normal visionColour vision develops as different sets of cones begin to function by 3 or 4 months of age children can see colour as well as adults Integrating Sensory InformationInfants begin to integrate information from different sensesie Sight and sound sigh and touchInfants are often particularly attentive to information presented redundantly to multiple sensesPerceiving ObjectsInfants use motion colour texture and edges to distinguish objectsBy about 4 months infants have begun to master size brightness shape and colour constancyInfants first perceive depth by means of kinetic cues motion is used to estimate depth including visual expansions refers to the fact that as an object moves closer it fills an even greater proportion of the retina and motion parallaxnearby moving objects move across our visual field faster than those at a distanceLater they use retinal disparity and pictorial cues to judge depthRetina disparity is based on the fact that left and right eyes often se slightly different versions of the same sceneoPictorial cues include the same cues artists used to convey depth in their drawings ie Linear perspective texture gradient relative size and interposition
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