Flashcards in Development of infant's perceptual skills and knowledge over the first 2 years of life Deck (69):
2. Infant perception
- pattern and face perception
- depth perception
- sensory integration and intermodel perception
- cultural differences
3. Infants knowledge of the world
- introduce Piaget and sensorimotor period
- problem solving skills
- development of object permanence
What 4 sub-sections would you break infant perception into?
1. pattern and face perception
2. depth perception
3. sensory integration and intermodal perception
4. cultural differences in perception
What 4 subsections would you break infants knowledge of the world into?
1. Introduce piaget
2. introduce sensorimotor period and criticism of piaget
3. problem solving skills
5. development of object permanence
Infants’ senses are much more .... than was previously thought.
developed at birth
we know that a newborn infant can hear about as well as
an adult with a head cold
How well do neonates tactile, olfactory and taste senses operate?
at a similar capacity to adults
Neonates visual system lags behind other sensory systems - what is visual acuity in a neonate?
Infants' colour vision is still developing - how do we know?
They have trouble distinguishing blue, yellow and gree from white
What is an infants visual acuity at 6 months?
What age does an infants visual system reach full adult maturity?
6 years of age
Understanding that infants had such developed senses led to questions of
Understanding that infants had such developed senses led to questions of infant perception - what do we mean by this?
how do infants make sense of the sensory inputs they are receiving?
For the purposes of this short essay we are going to focus on X, as this is the sensory system that has been subject to the majority of research; we will also briefly discuss the impact of Y on perception.
Martin Banks and colleagues have summarised the looking preferences of young infants quite succinctly:
babies prefer to look at whatever they see well (Banks and Ginsburg, 1985
As to what infants prefer to look at in relation to patterns:
research has revealed that very young infants prefer to look at high-contrast patterns with many sharp boundaries between light and dark areas, and at moderately complex patterns that have curvilinear features
As to what infants prefer to look at in relation to patterns: research has revealed that very young infants prefer to look at high-contrast patterns with many sharp boundaries between light and dark areas, and at moderately complex patterns that have curvilinear features. This has led some researchers to argue ...
argue that infants have an innate preference for looking at and recognising faces (Walton et al., 1992; Slater & Kirby, 1998).
What remains a controversial assertion?
that infants have an innate preference for looking at and recognising faces
Describe a piece of evidence that indicates that recognising faces is not innate?
Arcaro and colleagues (2017) found that monkeys raised without exposure to faces did not develop specialised face domains like face exposed monkeys
Who devised the visual cliff?
Eleanor Gibson and Richard Walk (1960)
Why did Gibson and Walk (1960) develop the visual cliff?
to determine whether infants can perceive depth
Of what did the visual cliff consist?
an elevated glass platform divided into two sections by a center board. On the ‘shallow’ side, a checkerboard pattern is placed directly under the glass. On the ‘deep’ side, the pattern is placed several feet below the glass, creating the illusion of a sharp drop-off, or a ‘visual cliff’.
In the visual cliff experiment (Gibson and Walk, 1960), how does the experimentor test the infant's depth perception?
by placing him on the center board and then asking the child’s mother to try to coax the infant to cross both the ‘shallow’ and ‘deep’ sides.
What were the findings of the visual cliff experiment? What do they indicate?
Testing infants 6-6.5 months of age and older, Gibson and Walk (1960) found that 90% would cross the shallow side, but fewer than 10% would cross the deep side. This indicates that infants of crawling age perceive depth.
Using the same idea of the visual cliff - who assessed infants below crawling age? How did they do it? What did they find?
Campos and colleagues (1970) recorded changes in infants’ heart rates when they were lowered face down over the ‘shallow’ and ‘deep’ sides of the visual cliff. Babies as young as 2 months showed a decrease in heart rate when over the deep side, but no change in heart rate on the shallow side.
A decrease in heart rate is associated with interest, not fear, indicating that the 2 month old infants could detect a difference, but did not year associate a drop off with fear.
What is a decrease in heart rate associated with?
What does sensory integration refer to?
the organisation of information received through the senses
What does intermodal perception refer to?
to the ability to use one sensory modality to identity a stimulus or pattern of stimuli that is already familiar through another modality
Are the senses integrate at birth?
Who showed that the senses are integrated at birth? With what senses?
Bower and colleagues (1970)
with vision and touch
Who were the participants in Bower's experiment? What happened in the experiment?
The subjects were 8-31 day infants who could see a virtual object well within reaching distance while they were wearing virtual reality goggles. If the infant reached for it, their hand would feel nothing.
What did Bower and colleagues (1970) find? What do their results suggest?
Bower and colleagues found that the infants did reach for the virtual object and that they often became frustrated to tears when they failed to touch it.
These results suggest that vision and touch are integrated in neonates: neonates expect to feel objects they can see and reach, and an incongruity between vision and the tactile sense is discomforting.
Although intermodal perception has never been observed in newborns, it seems that babies only one month old have the ability to ...
recognise by sight at least some of the objects they have previously sucked.
In relation to intermodal perception - what did Gibson and Walker (1984) do?
In one study, Eleanor Gibson and Arlene Walker (1984) allowed 1 month old infants to suck either a rigid cylinder or a spongy pliable one. The two objects were then displayed visually to illustrate that the spongy cylinder would bend and the rigid one would not.
In their study on neonate intermodal perception, what did Gibson and Walker (1984) find? What did the authors conclude?
The researchers found that infants who had sucked on a spongy object preferred to look at a rigid one, while infants who had sucked on a rigid one now preferred to look at a pliable one. The authors concluded that the infants could ‘visualise’ the object they had sucked and now considered it to be less interesting than the other, new, stimulus.
Why is understanding whether there are cultural differences in what infants perceive interesting?
because it can tell us whether or not perception is universally the same across the globe, or whether or not the environment and culture in which we grow up can alter what we perceive, and the extent to which this happens.
Studies examining cross-language speech perception suggest ...
suggest that infants are born with universal sensitivity to the phonemes present in all language.
Studies examining cross-language speech perception suggest that infants are born with universal sensitivity to the phonemes present in all language. For example?
, a study of English-speaking adults, Hindi-speaking adults, and 6-8 month old infants from English speaking families demonstrated that infants can distinguish two distinct phonemes with similar sounds in both English and Hindi /ta/ and /da/ in English, and the retroflex /D/ and dental /d/ in Hindi - whereas adults distinguished only between the different phonemes in their native languages (Werker et al., 1981)
When does perceptual narrowing for speech occur?
Between 7-10 months
What do we mean by perceptual narrowing for speech?
whereby the infants become less able to differentiate between non-native speech sounds.
What do Werker's findings highlight?
that the growth of perceptual abilities is not simply a matter of learning new skills; it is also a matter of losing unnecessary ones.
What are we going to use as a framework to examine how infants' knowledge of the world develops over the first two year?
Piaget's influential theory of child cognitive development
We will begin by introducing..., and...; we will then look at...
Piaget’s understanding of what infants know about the world
how this knowledge develops in the first two years of life
later research to understand how contemporary researchers understand infant cognition.
Piaget identified four major periods, or stages of cognitive development - what?
the sensorimotor stage (birth to 2 years), the preoperational stage (2-7 years), the concrete operational stage (7-11 years), and the formal operational stage (11 years and beyond).
To Piaget, these stages of intellectual growth represented ...
qualitatively different levels of functioning, and formed an invariant developmental sequence.
The first stage of Piaget’s theory lasts from birth to approximately age 2 and is centred on...
The infant trying to make sense of the world
During the sensorimotor stage, and infant’s knowledge of the world is limited to his/her [blank] and [blank]
The coordination of sensory inputs and motor capabilities to form X allows them to learn about their environment
Over the course of 2 years, the infant changes from mainly a X to a Y being; an [blank]
active problem solver
There are three aspects of development that are central to the sensorimotor period:
problem solving skills, imitation, and the growth of object permanence.
According to Piaget the earliest forms of problem solving behaviour occurs in which sensorimotor stage?
4th - coordination of secondary reactions (8-12 months)
According to Piaget the earliest forms of problem solving behaviour occurs in the fourth sensorimotor stage: coordination of secondary reactions (8-12 months. However an earlier display of symbolic ability is illustrated in innovative research by who?
Karen Wynn 1992
What happened in Wynn's experiment?
In Wynn’s experiment, 5 month old infants were shown a sequence of events that involved the addition and subtraction of dolls from a model screen; one of the sequences led to a possible outcome, whereas the other led to an impossible outcome.
Step by step what happened in Wynn's experiment assessing 5 month olds' symbolic ability? (4 steps)
1. Infants sat and watched as an object was placed on a model stage
2. A screen was then raised hiding the object
3. The infant then watched as a second object was placed behind the screen
4. The screen was then lowered revealing 2 objects (the possible outcome) or one object (the impossible outcome)
What did Wynn's experiment of 5 month olds' symbolic ability find?
Infants seem not to be making only a perceptual discrimination between two displays. Rather, when they watch as one item is added to another behind a screen, they expect to see two items when the screen is dropped. This requires a certain level of object permanence and memory, but also some rudimentary ideas about addition. These findings are provocative and suggest substantially greater symbolic (quantitative) knowledge in young infants than proposed by Piaget.
Piaget recognised the adaptive importance of X, and he was very interested in its development
What did Piaget's observations on imitation lead him to believe?
That infants are incapable of imitating novel responses displayed by a model until 8 - 12 months of age, and that these imitations don't become precise until 12 - 18 months of age
What is deferred imitation?
the ability to reproduce the behaviour of an absent model
According to Piaget, when does deferred imitation emerge?
18-24 months of age (1951)
According to Piaget, deferred imitation – the ability to reproduce the behaviour of an absent model – first appears at 18 to 24 months of age (Piaget, 1951). However, more recent research has shown that ...
6 month olds are able to imitate very simple acts (such as button pressing to activate a noise-making toy) after 24 hours (Colin & Hayne, 1999), and toddlers have been shown to imitate particularly memorable events up to 12 months after first witnessing them (Bauer et al., 2000; Meltzoff, 1995).
What is the most notable achievement of the sensorimotor period?
The development of object permanence
What is object permanence
The idea that objects continue to exist when they are no longer visible or detectable through the other senses
When did Piaget think that object permanence emerged?
Between 18-24 months of age
Piaget thought that object permanence emerged between 18-24 months. However, ...
research suggests that infants know something about the permanency of objects very early on; such knowledge does not have to be ‘constructed’ as Piaget proposed, but is part of an infant’s genetic heritage
research suggests that infants know something about the permanency of objects very early on; such knowledge does not have to be ‘constructed’ as Piaget proposed, but is part of an infant’s genetic heritage. Indeed, (experiment example)
Renee Ballairgeon found that infants understand object permanence earlier than Piaget thought; in several studies she analysed infant looking responses to the outcomes of events that seemed to violate physics principles – she found that infants as young as 3.5 months will look longer at impossible events indicating that they understand on some level that the object should not just simply disappear.
Who conducted an experiment similar to Renee Ballairgeon's? What kind of experiment?
Similarly, Bower et al. (1971) designed a task that used gaze tracking to decipher whether infants of 5 months old understand object permanence.
What were the steps in Bower et als (1971) study? 3 points
1. Four month old infants were shown a train moving along a track
2. The train went behind a screen that blocked the infant's view
3. The infant's would direct their gaze to the other side of the screen, where the train would be expected to emerge
What do Bower et al's (1971) findings suggest?
an understanding that the train still exists even though the infant cannot see it.
What happened in Bower et als (1971) follow up studies?
In follow up studies things were arranged so that instead of the train, a different object emerged from the other side of the screen. When this happened, some of the infants showed signs of surprise, suggesting again that they expected the train to emerge.