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7.4: Perceptual Development

  • Page ID
    142750
    • Amanda Taintor

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    Introduction to Perceptual Development

    Infants' perceptual skills are at work during every waking moment. For example, those skills can be observed when an infant gazes into a caregiver's eyes or distinguishes between familiar and unfamiliar people. Infants use perception to distinguish environment features, such as height, depth, and color. "The human infant is recognized today as 'perceptually competent'; determining just how the senses function in infancy helps to specify the perceptual world of babies" (Bornstein 2005, p 284). Infants explore objects differently depending upon object features such as weight, texture, sound, or rigidity (Palmer 1989). Parents and professionals may have observed young children exploring a slope, such as a slide, by touching it with their hands or feet before deciding whether to slide down it. Research by Adolph, Eppler, and Gibson (1993) suggests that learning plays a part in young children's decision-making in physically risky situations, such as navigating slopes, and that exploratory behavior may be a means to this learning. Perception is also strongly related to the social-emotional domain, such as when young children perceive the differences between various facial expressions and come to understand what they may mean.[1]


    [1] California Department of Education (CDE Press). Perceptual and Motor Development . Is used with permission.


    This page titled 7.4: Perceptual Development is shared under a mixed 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Amanda Taintor.