CD 30 CHAPTER 6 PERCEPTION Perception is the ability to take in and organize sensory information. Sensory integration is the process of combining and integrating information across the senses and is critical to the development of perception. Touch: the brain can process tactile sensations by the fourth month in utero. Sensitivity or response to discomfort and pain, increases rapidly after birth. Babies reactions vary in their sensitivity to touch. Where and how we touch is related to culture. What is forbidden or disrespectful in cultures different from your own? Tactile perception relates to motor abilities as babies increase in their ability to move around and receive more information about the world. Vision: this is the slowest sense to develop and the neurons in the vision pathway remain immature for several months after birth. Infants can distinguish light and dark at birth. Within a few weeks, infants can discriminate among colors. By the fourth month, they can see objects with clarity, and by 6 months the average infant’s vision is nearly 20/20. Set up an environment that develops visual skills. Entertained Observers vs. active participants. Taste: As early as 7 weeks after conception, 10,000 taste buds on the tongue and soft palate begin to appear. It is present at birth and develops rapidly in the ﬁrst few weeks. Infants whose diets have been inadequate do not seem to notice taste differences rapidly. Hearing: Prenatal exposure to sounds can have a lasting effect. A newborn can hear at birth and usually recognizes mother’s voice and prefers it to all others. Optimum noise level varies with each child. Caregivers can determine what noise level is right for the individual after they get to know the child. Smell: present at birth and develops rapidly in the ﬁrst few weeks. Infants can distinguish their mother’s smell. It seems closely linked to emotions and memories. An increase in breathing rate and activity level can be noted when odors are present in the air. The greater the saturation of the odors, the greater the heart rate and activity level. Signs of delays in sensory integration: Frequently rubs eyes or complains that eyes hurt. Avoids eye contact. Easily distracted by visual or auditory stimuli. Often bumps into things or falls frequently. By six months does not turn toward source of sounds. Talks/communicates in a very loud or very soft voice. Shies away from touch. Uses one side of the body more than the other. Usually turns the same ear toward a sound to hear. Reacts strongly to the feel of certain substances or textures.