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01:830:331 (54)
Chapter 5

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Department
Psychology
Course
01:830:331
Professor
Margaret Ingate
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 5: Seeing, Thinking, and Doing in Infancy  Perception: o Williams James believed that the world of a newborn is a “big blooming, buzzing confusion” o Sensation: the processing of basic information from the external world by the sensory receptors in the sense organs (eyes, ears, skin, etc.) and brain o Perception: the process of organizing and interpreting sensory information o Vision:  Preferential-looking technique: a method for studying visual attention in infants that involves showing infants two patterns or two object at a time to see if the infants have a preference for one over the other  If an infant looks longer at one of the two stimuli, the researcher can infer that the baby is able to discriminate between them and has a preference for one over the other.  Habituation: procedure involves repeatedly presenting an infant with a given stimulus until the infant’s response to it habituates (declines).  Visual Acuity:  Visual acuity: the sharpness of visual discrimination o Infants prefer to look at patterns of high visual contrast o Ex. Checkerboard  Contrast sensitivity: the ability to detect differences in light and dark areas in a visual pattern o Immaturity of cones: the light-sensitive neurons that are highly concentrated in the fovea (the central region of the retina) and are involved in seeing fine detail and color.  Visual Scanning:  Newborns start visually scanning the environment right away  They are attracted to moving stimuli  Object Perception:  Perceptual constancy: the perception of objects as being of constant size, shape, color, etc., in spite of physical differences in the retinal image of the object.  Empiricists: our perception of the constant size and shape of objects develops as a function of experience  Nativists: perceptual regularity stems from inherent properties of the nervous system  Visual experience is not necessary for size constancy  Object segregation: the identification of separate objects in a visual array  Common movement: the fact that the two segments always moved together in the same direction and at the same speed.  Depth Perception:  Optical expansion: a depth cue in which an object occludes increasingly more of the background, indicating that the object is approaching  Binocular disparity: the difference between the retinal image of an object in each eye that results in two slightly different signals being sent to the brain  Stereopsis: the process by which the visual cortex combines the differing neural signals cause by binocular disparity, resulting in the perception of depth. (emerges suddenly around 4 months and is complete within a few weeks)  Monocular/ pictorial cues: the perceptual cues of depth (such as relative size and interposition) that can be perceived by one eye alone. o Auditory Perception  Auditory localization: perception of the location in space of a sound source  Because they turn their heads very slowly, newborns are most likely to localize the source of a sound that continues for several seconds.  Music Perception:  Infants pay more attention to a consonant version of a piece of music  Infants also respond to rhythm in music- move to the music by bouncing  Infants perceived a melody to be the same regardless of whether it is played on different instruments, but perceive it to be a different tune if the notes are rearranged. o Taste and Smell  Smell plays a powerful role in how a variety of infant mammals learn to recognize their mothers o Touch  Through their oral exploration, babies learn about their own bodies as well as about the texture, taste, and other properties of the objects they encounter.  As infants gain greater control over their hand and arm movements, manual exploration increases and gradually takes precedence over oral exploration. o Intermodal Perception  Intermodal perception: the combining of information from two or more sensory systems  Infant’s auditory localization: their turning toward a sound they hear indicates that they expect a sound to be associated with an object.  Link oral and visual experience: looking longer at pacifier they had sucked on; could visually recognize an object they had experienced only through oral exploration.  Motor Development o Reflexes  Reflexes: innate, fixed patterns of action that occur in response to particular stimulation  Grapsing: newborns close their fingers around anything that presses against the palm of their hand  Rooting: when stroked on the cheek near their mouth infants turn their head in the direction of the touch and open their mouth.  Oral contact with the nipple results in the sucking reflex following by the swallowing reflex- increase the baby’s chance of getting nourishment and surviving. o Motor Milestones  Figure on pg. 192 o Current Views of Motor Development  Early motor development results from a confluence of numerous factors that
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