Basic Sensory and Perceptual ProcessesSensory organs serve as adaptive functions (i.e. the ability to recognize your own mother’s voice, the ability to eat).Babies can eat solid food and like the taste of salty foods at 6 moths of age.Intersensory Redundancy Theory: The infant’s perceptual system is capable of accommodating information that is presented from multiple sensory modes.Taste:oHighly developed at birth and in the uterus.oCan differentiate sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.oThe amniotic fluid has a taste, which is heavily influenced by what the other eats.Smell:oFunctioning right from birthoWill respond and behavior is evident through facial expressions (i.e. relaxed expression for the smell of bananas or chocolates)oHave a preference for the smell of their own mother’s amniotic fluid and human milkTouch:oFairly well developed in the womb when they suck their thumbs. The suckingreflexof their thumb allows them to nurse later on.oIf something were to be touching their cheek, they would turn to it and start tosuck on their thumbs – rooting.oGrasping reflex – putting your finger in their palm and they’d grab your finger.oBabinski reflex - toes fan outwards due to the unmyelinated corticospinal.oResponsive to pain – evident by high-pitched crying.oUpon birth, develops earliest around mouth, palm of hands, soles of feet.Hearing:oFetus can hear at 7-8 months of development (20 weeks of gestation)oBy the 25thweek of gestation, the ear itself is fully developed and the neurodevelopment of the auditory canal is complete.oAuditory threshold – the quietest sound that a person can hear.oInfants can hear sounds best that have pitches in the range of human speech – those that are neither high nor low pitched. They are better at detecting higherthan lower pitches.oCan differentiate vowels from consonants sounds and by 4 ½ months, they canrecognize their own name.oCan distinguish different musical sounds and use sound to locate objects.oLullabies across different cultures are the same. When babies are distressed, they are easily soothed by music as opposed to the mother speaking to them.oSound localization:Being able to locate where the sound is coming from in your environment
Birth-1 month: Orient to objects 60 degrees from midline1-3 month: Disappears3-4 moths: reemerges and becomes faster/accurate. They can now discriminate within the side of their body as opposed to right/left.As the baby ages, sound localization improves due to the baby’s visualfield getting better.Vision:oThe least developed of the senses due to the poor visual stimulation in the mother’s dark womb.oThey can distinguish between day and night.
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