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2: The development of perception in infancy Outline Why study perception in infancy? Theories of perceptual development Research: – what can infants perceive – how do infants interpret their perceptions – cultural differences in perception Learning outcomes 1 Why study perception in infancy? Underlies other developments illuminates the nature-nurture debate provides a BASELINE for development 2 issues: – what can infants perceive? – How do infants interpret what they perceive? 2 Theories of perceptual development Piagetian theory: – no understanding of perception without experience – infants make sense of sensory information through interaction with environment Ecological theory: – Eleanor and James Gibson – direct perception - AFFORDANCES - environment provides information – perceptual learning: process of increased efficiency process of distinguishing finer discrimination 3 Texture Gradient From Schiff, 1986 4 Theories of perceptual development Nativism: – Spelke – innate core principles: e.g. impenetrability, object identity, spatiotemporal continuity Constructivism?: – Baillargeon – innate mechanisms + learning – preliminary concepts -> adultlike concepts 5 Visual perception Newborns – Can discriminate between stripes and a uniform surface – Fixed focal length – 21cm 6 From Fogel, 1991 7 Visual perception ability to track the path of moving objects – Aslin, 1981 scanning: – Fogel & Melson, 1988 Auditory perception – loudness: Schulman-Galambos & Galambos, 1979 – pitch – recognition of mother’s voice non-nutritive sucking experiments – deCasper & Fifer, 1980 8 Scanning From Fogel, 1991 9 Non-nutritive sucking technique 10 Touch, Smell & Taste – Tactile perception: Rochat, 1987 – Olfactory perception: Lipsitt et al, 1963 – Taste perception: Crook, 1978, Desor et al, 1973 Inter-modal perception – sight and sound: Bahrick, 1983 Morrongiello, Fenwick & Chance, 1998 – Touch and sight: Meltzoff & Borton, 1979 11 Rosenstein & Oster (1988) From Butterworth & Harris (2002) 13 How do infants interpret what they perceive? Face perception – Sherrod, 1979 – Kuchuk et al, 1986 – Fisher et al, 1981 Depth Perception – Looming: Bower, Broughton & Moore, 1970 Yonas, 1981 Nanez, 1988 – Stereopsis 14 From Butterworth & Harris (2002) 16 The Visual Cliff (from Bee & Boyd, 2004 ) How do infants interpret what they perceive? Object perception: – Piaget vs Gibson – Loads of experiments by Baillargeon Perception of moving objects: – Gibson et al, 1979 – Baillargeon, 1987: the drawbridge expt. 18 Baillargeon’s Drawbridge Experiment (from Bukatko & Daehler, 2001) 19 How do infants interpret what they perceive? Categorical perception: – Phonemes and voicing (or voice onset time) – ba and pa Aslin, 1987; Kuhl, 1987 Kuhl & Miller, 1978 Werker & Lalonde, 1988 Werker & Desjardins, 1995 Imitation – Meltzoff & Moore, 1977 20 Voice Onset Time 21 Infants’ imitation of facial expressions (Meltzoff & Moore, 1977 ) 22 Cultural differences in perceptual development? ‘Carpenteredness’ (Segall, Campbell & Herskovits, 1966): – Muller-Lyer illusion 23 Learning outcomes Understand what perception is and why we study its development Understand and be able to evaluate theories of perception Know and be able to evaluate current research on perceptual development and the implications this research has for theories of perception 24 Reading Essential Reading (on Digital Resources): Baillargeon, R. (2000). How do infants learn about the physical world? In D. Muir & A. Slater. Infant development: the essential readings. Oxford: Blackwell. Keenan, T. (2002). An introduction to child development. London: Sage. Ch 5. pp.94-117 Spelke, E.S (1994) Initial knowledge: 6 suggestions. Cognition, 50, pp.431 – 445 Further Reading: See pdf handout 25 Questions to ask. To what extent is each of the perceptual modalities innate? Are some perceptual abilities delayed because they have to be learned or for other reasons? What does the research told us about infants’ knowledge? What do the different theories say about the development of perception? 26
"The development of perception in infancy"