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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Summary & Terms

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Psychology 2040A/B
Ian Mac Donald

CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY Early Controversies About SensoryPerceptual Developmenty Sensation refers to the detection of sensory stimulation perception is the interpretation of what is sensed y Philosophers and developmentalists have debated whether basic perceptual skills are innate the nativist position of acquired the empiricist position and whether distinctive features of sensory input perception involves detection of the differentiation theory or the cognitive embellishment of sensations enrichmenttheoryy Today most researchers favour an interactionist perspective and many believe that both detection and embellishment of sensory information contribute to perceptual development Research Methods Used to Study the Infants SensoryPerceptual Capabilitiesy Researchers have devised creative methods for understanding what infants might be sensing or perceiving o The preference method habituation method o The o The method of evoked potentials highamplitude sucking method o TheInfant Sensory Capabilities y Hearing o Young infants can hear very well even newborns can discriminate sounds that differ in loudness direction duration and frequencyo Infants prefer their mothers voice to that of another woman and are sensitive to phonemic contrasts in the speech they hearo Even mild hearing losses such as those associated with otitis media may have adverse developmental affects y Taste smell and touch o Babies are born with definite taste preferences favouring sweet over sour bitter or salty substances o They avoid unpleasant smells and soon some to recognize their mothers by odour alone if they are breastfed o Newborns are also quite sensitive to touch temperature and painy Vision o Newborns can see patterns and colours and can detect changes in brightnesso Their visual acuity is poor by adult standards but improves rapidly over the first 6 monthsVisual Perception in Infancyy Visual perception develops rapidly in the first yeary For the first 2 months babies are stimulus seekers who prefer to look at moderately complex highcontrast targets particularly those that move
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