Perceptual Development: Infant Studies

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  • Development of Perception: Infant Studies
    • Depth Perception
      • Monocular cues
        • Hofsten et al. (1992) demonstrated the use of motion parralax in three-month old infants, using the habituation method. It was thought that once they were habituated (used to it), they would show more interest in what appeared to be a novel display.
          • This is what was found - when the infants were shown two displays (one appearing to be the same as the one used in the habituation stage), the child will show preference to the novel display, suggesting that they can use motion parralax.
        • Granrud and Yonas (1984) found that the response to the depth cue of occlusion developed around the age of 6 months.
        • Responsive-ness to dynamic cues appears earlier than to static cues.
          • Dynamic cues such as motion parralax rely on movement.
          • Static cues such as occlusion are depth cues viewed from a stationary position.
      • Binocular cues
        • The use of retinal disparity was tested in infants, by presenting different information to each eye, so an image appeared 3D. (Bower et al., 1970)
          • Infants as young as one week old responded by trying to grasp the object, thus demonstrating fairly precise depth perception based on retinal disparity.
      • Age related changes
        • Yonas et al. (2001) demonstrated these when testing whether human infants use shadows as a cue to depth.
          • Infants were shown two toys, both equidistant from them but one appeared to be closed because of added shadows.
            • The infants also had one eye covered ti remove binocular information about depth.
              • Older infants (30 weeks) were more likely to reach for the apparently closer toy than the younger infants (21 weeks), suggesting that the ability to use shadows as a cue to depth develops with age.
    • Visual constancy
      • Shape constancy
        • Bower (1966) used an operant conditioning technique where infants received a reward when they viewed one object; therefore they would prefer this object in the future.
          • Infants aged 2 months were conditioned to prefer a rectangle that was slanted at a 45-degree angle: the retinal image this creates looks like a trapezoid. The infants were then shown a variety of objects, either a rectangle or trapezoid.
            • The infants showed a preference for the rectangle, showing shape constancy.
      • Size constancy
        • Slater et al (1990) used the habituation method. Each newborn infant was shown a series of different size cubes.
          • Infants were then shown two cubes side by side, the larger one further away so they appeared the same.
            • The infants looked longer at the cube they were not familiarised with, suggesting that they recognised it as novel, despite it having the same size retinal image, displaying size constancy.
    • Pattern Perception
      • Newborn infants have been found to show a preference for a face like pattern rather than a non face-like pattern.
      • They also show a greater interest in images that are more complex.
        • Brennan et al. (1966) showed infants checkerboard patterns of increasing complexity (2x2. 8x8 or 24x24).
          • One month old infants preferred the simple stimulus, whereas three month olds preferred the most complex one.
            • The youngest infants do not have sufficient visual acuity to see the smaller squares in a 24x24 display.but the preference for more complex visual stimuli.
    • Evaluation
      • Perceptual completion
        • Often we have to bridge gaps in our retinal image,allowing us to 'see' objects which are not actually there.
        • Ghim (1990) found that infants could not detect the Kanizsa square at 2 months old, but could at 3 months old.
        • Occlusion is a monocular depth cue, is also an example of perceptual completion.
          • Slater et al (2002) found that if infants are shown two objects, such as playing cards, where one is in front of the other, they will see it as only one object.
            • Only by around 2 months are they able to perceive that the objects are separate.
      • The importance of research on perceptual completion
        • It supports the top-down theory of perception.
          • Bottom-up theorists argue that it can be influenced by cognitive development rather than perceptual development.




Awesome resource! comprehensive visual overview of the Development of Perception 

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