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Flashcards in 3 - Brain and Senses Deck (25):
1

Define Sensation and Perception

Sensation
- the biological mechanism of gathering information
Perception
- interpreting the sensory information

2

Vision Development (3 levels)

Low-level processing
- brightness (retina)

Mid-level processing
- colour (in midbrain structures)

High-level processing
- identifying faces (visual cortex)

3

Habituation and Dishabituation

Habituation
- tendency to repeatedly attend to a stimulus
> tendency decreases with exposure

Dishabituation
- heightened effect of a new stimulus compared to a habituated stimulus

4

Newborn Vision

- can detect brightness by day 2
- can detect movement and can track objects
- can detect patterns
> using scanning
> attracted to more complex patterns

- visual acuity varies at 1m
> reaches adult level at 1y
- limited colour vision until 3m

5

Visual Acuity

The sharpness of vision
(ability to differentiate)
- contrast
- representing lines and shadows
- picking out shapes

- visual acuity is adult-like at 1y

6

Testing babies' visual acuity (4 methods)

Preferential Looking Method:
- babies prefer looking at some displays more than others
> tested by tracking vision between 2 stimuli
- if they have acuity, they will likely prefer the more complex patterns


Habituation Method:
- show the same image until the baby habituates (stops looking)
- show a new image to see if it dishabituates
- measure the looking time between stimuli
> if there is a difference in looking time, the baby must be able to differentiate between the stimuli


Optokinetic Nystagmus Method:
- measures the jumping of the eye when watching moving objects
- uses a panel of stripes
> when the stripes are too close, the eye stops jumping between stripes
+ this shows the level of differentiation (acuity) and tracking ability


Visually Evoked Potential Method:
- measures brain response to visual stimulus
- uses rapid alternation between grey background and stripes
- measures the level at which the baby can differentiate stripes from the background


Results:
- the different methods produce different results
> could be from measuring slightly different things
> could be that some tests are better

- Visually Evoked Potential Method (VEP) seems to show the highest level of visual development

7

Development of Visual Acuity

Infants have Astigmatism (a non-curved lens)
- so the light rays do not meet at a focus point on the retina

- the brain deduces that this blurry image is due to the eye being too small, thus causing the eyes to grow larger
> thus eye growth is determined by visual acuity (impact)


This can be shown in chicks, where showing them blurry images causes them to grow larger eyes
- thus environmental factors are crucial for normal visual development
> discrete development

8

Depth Perception (3 cues)

Dynamic Cues
- depth perception due to movement of the observer or observed object
> infants can determine looming (closer objects are bigger)
> at 3.5m they can discern motion parallax (when moving past objects, closer objects move faster than further ones)



Binocular Cues (binocular parallax)
- depth perception due to binocular disparity
> differences in visual input from left and right eyes

- and convergence
> more intense muscle contraction in the eye when focussing on closer objects indicates the object is closer

- and stereopsis
> fusing of images from both eyes into one image (the further the object, the better the fusing)



Pictorial Cues (monocular)
- interposition
> ability to differentiate depth based on one object being in front of another

- linear perspective
> two parallel lines seem to get closer as they near the horizon (vanishing point)

- size ratio
> ability to infer relatively how close similar objects are based on their size

9

Visual Cliff Experiment

goats can identify cliff edges from birth, can humans?

Experiment
crawl on
- top of the box has a check pattern on half and glass on half
- underneath the glass is a drop then an enlarged check pattern
> such that the squares will look the same size if you're using Pictorial cues
> the drop will look large if your using motion parallax cues

Results:
- all babies made it to the half way
- most did not move over the visual cliff
> shows that the babies were using motion parallax cues through crawling

10

Order of Depth Cues development

- Dynamic Cues (looming + motion parallax)
- Binocular Cues (visual disparity + convergence + stereopsis)
- Pictorial Cues (interposition + linear perspective + size ratio)

11

Development of Face Recognition and preference

Both human and monkey babies
- prefer normal faces to scrambles
- prefer mother's face
- prefer happy faces


At 3m, babies:
- prefer well proportioned faces to distorted
- prefer faces of their own race
- prefer female to male

12

Why do 3month old babies prefer female faces to male?

As infants get older, they focus on processing stimuli that are relevant and important to them
- in this case, sustenance

13

When does Perceptual Specialisation occur?

Within the 1st year

14

Babies' hearing and preference

Infants focus on stimuli that are relevant to them
In this case auditory

Babies can hear in utero
At birth, they:
- prefer the mother's voice
- prefer stories they heard in the womb
- can differentiate their own language from others, due to rhythmic differences
> they have difficulty differentiating languages with similar rhythmic patterns

- are less sensitive to low-pitched sounds
- prefer melodic music
> will vary sucking pattern to music

- more sensitive to human voices and particular pitches
> due to motherese
- prefer natural sounds to synthetic


Sound Localisation:
- from birth, infants are able to turn their heads towards a sound (a reflex)
- this sound localisation ability disappears at 2m, and returns at 4m more developed

15

Define Motherese

The particular way a mother interacts vocally with her baby

16

Babies' sensitivity to touch (smell and taste)

- sensitivity to touch is activated long before birth
> skin is the largest sense organ
- touch is cross-modal in a sense, since there are a variety of receptor cells (pressure/temperature)
- newborns are very sensitive to pain
- touch receptors in hands and lips explains why infants like sucking
- babies like being touched
- touch allows neonates to explore environments and encode information

17

Cross-modal Perception, Empiricist and Nativist accounts

Cross-modal perception is the ability to integrate the senses
- adults can do this in a unified and coherent way

Empiricist Account
- learn specific links or associations between modalities

Nativist Account:
- intermodal perceptions may be as basic as perception itself (innate)

18

Motoric reflexes in newborns

Start developing before birth (kicking)
- newborns have well-developed reflexes and sensory responses
> reflex = involuntary response to external stimuli

Permanent Reflexes:
- bicep reflex
- eye blink
- knee jerk
- withdrawal reflex

Temporary Reflexes:
- palmar grasp
- Babinski's reflex (toes curve)
- Moro reflex (baby's head drops back, thought to help in sucking breasts

Temporary reflexes:
- disappear around the time that the frontal cortex grows
> suggesting this is due to an increased ability to inhibit motor action
+ so that more complex motor skills can take over the basic reflexes

19

Emergence of walking, Maturational Account and Dynamic Systems Theory

Once walking begins, it takes a few weeks to master

Maturational Account:
- motor development depends on the level of development of the brain's motor program

Dynamic Systems Theory:
- the ability to walk relies on the maturation of multiple systems:
> visual input
> experience
> weight of the infant
> maturation of areas of the brain important to walking

20

What precedes motor milestones in development

Postural protective reflexes
- reflexes that occur when the posture fails i.e. falling
- different reflexes for different ways of falling

21

Early imitation

- newborns can imitate facial expressions
- from 10w they can imitate sounds
> infants are more likely to imitate humans than non-humans

22

Operant Conditioning in infants

Occurs when feeding
- UCR = position of their mouths
- positive reinforcement = milk
- infants learn to respond to parents to elicit a greater reward (crying)

23

Classical Conditioning

Pavlov
- UCS provokes an UCR
- NS is paired with the UCS to form a CS
- CS is associated with the UCR, forming a CR

24

Conditioned Fear

Little Albert experiment
- UCS = loud sound
- UCR = fear/tears
- NS = rat
- NS paired with UCS -> rat becomes CS
- UCR due to CS = CR = fear

25

Operant Conditioning: Skinner Box, Reward Schedules and Blocking

Skinner Box:
(operant conditioning chamber)
- enclosed apparatus with an object (bar) the animal can manipulate to obtain food or water as a type of reinforcement

Schedules:
- fixed ratio (reward after X times)
- variable ratio (reward after random number of times)
- fixed interval (reward after X minutes)
- variable interval (random number of times)

Blocking
- associations learned first block the learning of later associations