Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sensory Processing ... Starting to develop?

Development of sensation is difficult to measure or test due to the inability of the infant to answer or respond to questions, limited physical abilities, etc.  However, many measures have been developed to assist in making assumptions about the amount of sensory information and perception of that information achieved by infants. 

Research indicates that by one month and infant has the ability to differentiate speech from other sounds and can visually scan an area, indicating they have visual perception (Gauvin, 2009).  In fact, by one week research shows that an infant can discriminate between black and gray from as far as one foot (Gauvin, 2009).  By eight months, the infant has 25% of visual ability of adults; however acuity increases with age and rate of development (Gauvin, 2009).  The perception of color develops post natal, rather than prenatal, and likely depends upon experience with color to discriminate or attribute information or constructs to it. 

Studies of sensory processing determine that by three months infants can remember specific stimuli and clearly see objects (Gauvin, 2009).  By six months facial recognition occurs.  Facial Recognition and preference also develops and is not prenatally occurring (Gauvin, 2009).  Research suggests a predisposition for facial features and characteristics, but it is widely assumed that preference and recognition is based on experience with faces, frequency of exposure, and the positive or negative attitudes associated with them (Gauvin, 2009).   During this period, visual acuity increases, as does, interest in sounds and audible stimuli (Gauvin, 2009).

By one year, infants are able to categorize objects by like features such as color, shape, etc.  Limited problems solving skills are emerging, the idea of consequences is being understood, and sequencing is occurring (Gauvin, 2009).

Valerie Poling


Gauvin, P. (2009). Child Psychology: A Contemporary Viewpoint, 7th ed. In C. U. HASOP, Psychology Human Prenatal Development (pp. 3-36). McGraw-Hill Primis.

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