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Early Childhood Development Essay

1874 words - 7 pages

Introduction
The way the young, old, and infants look at things has been the subject of a number of studies for many years. These tendencies are referred to as visual preferences and in infants this study can be referred to as early visual perception. Though interest in the study of visual preferences has declined, significant progress has been made in this field. This study however has been very instrumental in helping scholars understand early childhood development issues. Among these issues is how visual preferences can help infants process the stimuli they come across. The issue of whether or not infants possess visual preference abilities after birth has also shown great interest among scholars. This paper seeks to cut through the arguments and delve into the factual evidence. The paper will consider how infants process as well as respond to visual stimuli in their environment. In addition, the paper seeks to establish how age and experience affects this process. These two factors will help correlate visual preference with cognition and perception in infants. The paper will mostly focus on how infants process stimuli with respect to visual preference.
Visual Development in Infants
Visual awareness in humans can affect social interaction and knowledge formation. It has always been thought that adults possess better vision than children. In the past it was thought that babies were born without vision and gained it gradually. Most of these perceptions have so far been nullified by modern research. Although the above is untrue, there are still several differences between infants’ and adults’ vision. The eye of the infant is less than half the size of an adult’s. Considering that visual ability is related to eye size, in infants this ability to see is less pronounced. The other aspect of visual development that disadvantages infants arises from the infant’s visual accommodation. Adults have the ability to focus on objects from a range of distances. This is mainly because the adults’ lens and its curvature can accommodate this. Previously it was thought that babies were very shortsighted only being able to see clearly, objects within nine inches. Present research conducted has however refuted this. Since they have partially developed retinas, infants normally experience difficulties when encoding images. After an image is formed in the retina, the process is transferred into the higher neutrons of the brain (Ratliff, 1965, p. 34). In infants, this might be hampered by the brain’s inability to process these functions. When this process occurs in infants, the images formed always have less resolution because the visual cortex is still not well formed.
Visual system is one of the sensory organs contributing to the functionality of humans. Its functionality at birth however is the least mature of all the sensory organs. When being born, infants’ abilities to make sounds are more developed than their visual abilities. At this point, infants can...

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