Developing Vision in Newborns

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Developing Vision in Newborns
Sarah Spencer
October 5, 2011
University of Houston

During infancy, numerous changes occur when dealing with eyesight and vision. A child’s interesting journey from its newborn months to its toddler years has been extensively researched and put to the test. Below, “Learning to see: How vision sharpens,” is discussed in detail, related to human development, and its pros and cons are all examined for a vacuum-tight paper.

“Learning to see: How vision sharpens,” an article from CNN.com by Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang in September of 2011 discusses how and when eyesight develops for infants. From the very beginning infants visual areas in their brains are underdeveloped, causing blurred and clouded vision. It is said that an infant’s eyesight is about 20/240 on the snellen-chart, which is used to measure vision (Santrock, 2011). Even though newborns have such hazy vision, they tend to show a preference for human faces. They are drawn to round objects that have the eyes and mouth in the correct location. As the baby gets older, about 5-6 months, it can recognize the face of individual people. This is due to an area in the temporal cortex called the fusiform face developing. This specific area concentrates exclusively on face cognition (Santrock, 2011).

The article also discusses motion and perceptions within an infant’s visual system. Motion is a huge part in the developing eyesight of an infant. At about four weeks old, an infant can detect activity and commotion at around the same level as an adult and between three and five months perceptions develop very quickly (Aamodt & Wang, 2011). For example the Gibson and Walk study. Eleanor Gibson and Richard Walk designed and built a “cliff” for an experiment to test depth perception in babies. It was a platform with an overhang (that was actually glass) to imitate a precipice. They placed the baby on the platform and had mothers encourage their baby to crawl off...
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