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Chapter 7

summary for text chapter 7

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PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

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PSYC 2450: Chapter 7 – Early Cognitive Foundations; Sensation, Perception and Learning  Sensation – detection of stimuli by sensory receptors and transmission of this information to brain  Perception – process by which we categorize and interpret sensory input  Enrichment theory – theory specifying we must add to sensory stimulation by drawing on stored knowledge in order to perceive a meaningful world  Differentiation theory – theory specifying that perception involves detecting distinctive features or cues that are contained in the sensory stimulation we receive  Distinctive features – characteristics of a stimulus that remain constant: dimensions on which 2 or more objects differ and can be discriminated (sometimes called invariances or invariant features) Research Methods used to Study the Infant’s Sensory and Perceptual Experiences  Preference method – method used to gain information about infants’ perceptual abilities by presenting two (or more) stimuli and observing which stimulus the infant prefers  Infants preferred to look at patterned stimuli  If infant shows no preference it’s not clear whether they failed to discriminate them or found them equally interesting  Habituation method – decrease in response to a stimulus that has become familiar through repetition  Simple form of learning  Dishabituate – increase in responsiveness that occurs when stimulation changes  Distinguishing between habituation and preference effects can be hard – display preference when familiar with stimulus  Evoked potentials – change in patterning of the brain waves that indicates an individual detects (senses) a stimulus  High amplitude sucking method – method of assessing infants’ perceptual capabilities that capitalizes on ability of infants to make interesting events last by varying the rate at which they suck on special pacifier Infant Sensory Capabilities  Hearing  In first few hours infants hearing as well as adults with a head cold  Insensitive to softer sounds  Highly developed at birth  Reactions to voices – particularly attentive to voices  Could learn sound patterns before birth  Reactions to language – can discriminate basic speech sounds  Phonemes – smallest meaningful sound units that make up spoken language  Infants 1 week old can tell difference between vowels  2 – 3 months can tell consonant sounds that are similar (ex. ba and pa)  Can tell different phonemes that not in language their companions speak – adults can’t  4 ½ months turn head when name called  Otitis media – bacterial infection of the middle ear that produces mild to moderate hearing loss  Taste and smell  Born with definite taste preference  Seem to be born with sweet tooth  Can detect variety of odours  1 – 2 weeks old can recognize mother by her smell  Touch, temperature and pain  Sensitivity to touch enhances infants’ responsiveness to their environments  Touch and close contact promote developmental progress  Touch lowers stress levels, calms and promotes neural activity  First year life – explore touch using lips and mouths and then hands  Sensitive to warmth and cold  If gets cold in room will become more active to try and warn up  Very young infants more distressed when pricked by needle for blood then 5 to 11 month olds  Circumcision done without anesthesia and causes a lot of pain – infants emit high pitched wails Vision  Least mature of newborns senses  More likely to track faces in first 1 or 2 months  Minutes old babies can track visual stimulus with their eyes and heads and showed preference for human faces  See in colour but hard to distinguish like colours  Do not resolve fine detail very well  Visual acuity – person’s ability to see small and fine detail  Visual contrast – amount of light/dark transition in a visual stimulus  Early newborns can sense movement, colours, changes in brightness, variety of visual patterns Visual Perception in Infancy  Early pattern perception (0 – 2 months)  Infants just as interested in scrambled face as normal one  Prefer to look at high contrast patterns with sharp boundaries between light and dark  Babies look at what they can see well which is complex, high contrast targets especially ones who move  Later form perception (2 months to 1 year)  Sees better  Can better discriminate  Need less cues to detect structural configurations Perception of Three-Dimensional Space  Infants younger than 2 to 3 months do not exhibit stereopsis (fusion of two flat images to produce a single image that has depth)  Pictorial (perspective) cues – depth and distance cues (including linear perspective, texture gradients, sizing, interposition, shading) that are monocular – detectable with only one eye  Size constancy – tendency to perceive an object as the same size from different distances despite changes in size of its retinal imagine  Visual looming – expansion of image of an object to take up entire visual field as it draws close to face – infants react by blinking  Not fully mature until 10 to 11  Use of pictorial cues  Infants become sensitive to different spatial cues at different ages  Kinetic cues – cues created by movements of objects or of the body, provide important information for perception of forms and spatial – between 1 and 3 month  Development of depth perception
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