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Chapter 6 Perception.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 Perception."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 Perception

2 Methods of Studying Infant Perception
Habituation: Discrimination learning “learning to be bored” Preferential looking Study of visual acuity Evoked potentials: recorded as child looks Operant conditioning R+ of one stimulus in a pair

3 Vision Present at birth Detect changes in brightness Visually track moving objects By 4 months can discriminate colors Visual acuity at about 8 inches Prefer contour, contrast, & movement Prefer complex over simple patterns Prefer human face over all

4 Figure 6.1 Researchers must devise special ways to assess infants’
perceptual abilities. Here, an experimenter and camera record how much time the infant looks at each stimulus.The visual preference test was pioneered by Robert Fantz in the early 1960s. Figure 6.1

5 Vision 2 Depth perception Newborns appear to have size constancy The visual cliff: Gibson & Walk (1960) A crawler (7 mo) will not cross the cliff Can perceive the cliff by 2 months Fear of drop-off requires crawling Infants as intuitive theorists: able to make sense of the world

6 Hearing and Speech Humans can hear well before birth Newborns discriminate sounds that differ in loudness, duration, direction, and pitch Two-3 month olds distinguish phonemes Eimas (1985) “Ba & Pa” studies Newborns prefer female/mother’s voice Lose sensitivity to sounds not needed for home language

7 Taste and Smell Newborns can distinguish between sweet, bitter, and sour tastes Show a clear preference for sweet Facial expressions reflect taste Cry and turn away from unpleasant smells Breast-fed babies recognize mother’s smell Mothers can identify their newborns by smell

8 Touch, Temperature, and Pain
Sense of touch(& motion) before birth Useful for soothing a fussy baby At birth sensitivity to warm and cold Clearly sensitive to painful stimuli Do babies require anesthesia for surgery? More harm from stress of pain Recommended for circumcisions

9 Integrating Sensory Information
Vision & touch, vision & hearing are interrelated within the first month Cross-modal perception: previously seen objects hidden a bag are identified by touch Very early perceptual abilities are evidence for “Nature” Sensory system requires stimulation to develop normally First 3-4 months considered critical

10 The development of Attention
From infancy on Attention span increases More able to concentrate on a task Attention becomes more selective Able to ignore distractions More systematic perceptual searches To achieve goals & solve problems

11 The Adult Sensory and perceptual capacities decline May begin in early adulthood Noticeable in the 40s Typical by age 65 Gradual and minor in the normal person Compensation gradually increases Sensory threshold: point at which the least amount of a stimulus can be detected Increases with age

12 Sensory/Perceptual Problems
Vision by age 70: 9/10 wear corrective lenses 1 in 4 will have cataracts Pupil less responsive to light Dim lighting is problematic Dark and glare adaptation difficult Presbyopia: Middle age glasses thickening of the lens Peripheral vision declines

13 Hearing/Speech in Older Adults
Most have at least mild hearing loss Presbycusis: loss of high-pitched sounds More common and earlier in men Some difficulty with speech perception May be cognitive or sensory Background noise a problem Novel and complex tasks problematic

14 Other Senses in Older Adults
Over 70 taste and smell thresholds increase Many are not affected at all: mostly men Also affected by disease and medications Loss of enjoyment of food may cause malnutrition in older adults Less sensitive to touch and temperature Less sensitive to mild but not sever pain

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