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Chapter

Module 5.1

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2AA3
Professor
Jennifer Ostovich

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5.1 Module: Basic Sensory and Perceptual Processes Habituation: when a novel stimulus is presented, babies pay much attention, but they  pay less attention as it becomes more familiar ­ Used to study perception by repeatedly presenting a stimulus, then presenting a  second stimulus o If infant responds strongly then he can distinguish the two stimuli Smell, Taste and Touch ­ Newborns have a keen sense of smell o Responds positively to pleasant smalls and vice versa  Facial expressions are indicative of their reactions (relaxed to  honey, turn away to rotten eggs) ­ Newborns have a highly developed sense of taste o Readily differentiate salty, sour, bitter and sweet tastes  Facial expression is also evident (smiling/sucking to sweet, pucker  to sour, etc.) o Infants are also sensitive to a mothers change in diet  Can taste it through her breast milk,  If she eats something sweet, they will drink more ­ Newborns are sensitive to touch o Respond reflexively when touched because they perceive movement ­ Because infants cant express their pain to us directly, we use other indirect  evidence o Their nervous system is capable of transmitting pain because the receptors  for pain in the skin are just as plentiful as in an adult ­ Babies respond to pain­provoking stimuli ­ The pain­cry begins suddenly, is high­pitched and is not easily soothed o Heart rate jumps, and they begin moving extremities ­ Researchers at McGill proposed that simple caregiving behaviors can be used for  reducing pain experienced by young infants Hearing ­ The fetus can hear at 7 or 8 months development  o Newborns usually respond to sounds in their environment  Ex. Sneeze startling them ­ Auditory Threshold: refers to the quietest sound that a person can hear ­ Testing reveals that adults can hear better than infants o They can hear some very quiet sounds that infants cant ­ Testing also shows that infants hear sounds best that have pitches in the range of  human speech – neither very high nor very low­pitched ­ Infants can differentiate between consonant and vowel sounds o At 4 ½ months they can recognize their own names ­ Infants can distinguish different musical sounds o Different melodies o They prefer pleasant melodies over unpleasant or dissonant sounding ­ Infants are sensitive to the rhythmic structure of music o Can tell the difference between a new sequence that fits the 
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