Infants Abilities In Terms Of Vision Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Children Type: Essay Paper: #38030328 Related Topics: Sensory Perception, Stages Of Development, Youth Development, Adult Development
Excerpt from Essay :

Visual Development in Infants

Researchers have found that the initial assumption about infants and their visual prowess were in fact not true (Siegler, DeLoache, Eisenberg, & Saffran, 2014). . Babies do, in fact, have better vision than at first supposed. Indeed, their vision is certainly not "barely functional" as at first supposed. It has been found that infants begin to explore the world around them visually as soon as within minutes after birth. While it is true that their visual clarity is not as clear as that of adults, research has shown that they gain increasing visual competency within the first month of life. To investigate this, a variety of techniques needed to be used, since babies are unable to understand or follow instructions when it comes to investigation methods. Robert Franz (1961) developed this technique in 1961 to study the visual attention of an infant. For this test, Franz displayed two visual stimuli side by side on a screen for the infant to see. The test then involves determining to which image the infant pays more attention. This then indicates that the infant can distinguish between the images and prefers one over the other. It was also found that infants prefer having an image to look at to being presented with a blank screen (Siegler, DeLoache, Eisenberg, & Saffran, 2014).

Another method used to study an infant's development in terms of sensory and perceptual ability is the habituation method. In...


An increase in response by the infant then means that he or she is able to tell the difference between the old and new image. This is also a method by which an infant's contrast sensitivity can be measured; this sensitivity is low at birth because of the lack of maturity in their cones and the fact that light sensitive nerve cells are not at their full level of development (Banks & Dannemiller, 1987).

The poor contrast sensitivity infants have at birth also makes it difficult to focus on objects close to them. They display jerky eye movements and cannot focus for long on a single object, especially when close to them (Kellman & Arterberry, 2006). Despite initial limitations, research has found that infants prefer their mother's face over that of a stranger (Haith, Bergman, & Moore, 1977; Milewski, 1976). By two months of age infants are able to distinguish more details in faces and other patterns. (Maurer & Salapatek, 1976).

By 2-3 months, babies are able to begin stronger visual activity, where the eyes move "as a team" to provide visual input Bushnell (1985). At this stage, babies see well enough to see and follow moving objects and also to reach for objects that they can see. By 5 months, there is an increase of vision for exploratory purposes, and babies begin to make more physical hand contact with the objects around them. Some studies included different conditions when determining the ability of infants to reach for objects, for example full vision conditions as opposed to objects that glow in the dark (Pogetti, Souza, Tudella, Teixira, 2013).

Proprioceptive feedback provides…

Sources Used in Documents:


Armstrong, J., Hutchinson, I., Laing, D., & Jinks, A. (2007). Facial Electromyography: Responses of Children to Odor and Taste Stimuli. Chemical Senses, 32 (6) (1464-3553), 611-621.

Perone, S., Simmering, V., & Spencer, J. (2011). Stronger neural dynamics capture changes in infants' visual working memory capacity over development. Developmental science, 14 (1467-7687), 1379-1392.

Pogetti, L., Souza, R., Tudella, E., & Teixeira, L. (2013). Early infant's use of visual feedback in voluntary reaching for a spatial target. Frontiers in Psychology Front. Psychol., 1-6

Seigler, R. (2010). Seeing, Thinking, and Doing in Infancy. In How Children Develop (4th ed., pp. 172-188). New York:Worth.

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