Perceptual Development

  • Henry D. SchlingerJr.
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


When psychologists write about the development of motor control and movement in infants, they frequently include descriptions of the development of sensory and perceptual systems as well (e.g., Gallahue, 1989; Keogh & Sugden, 1985). According to Keogh and Sugden (1985), the analysis of movement “must take into account the natures of the movement problem and the mover in the environmental context” (p. 265). Gallahue (1989) sees the process of infants “learning how to interact with the environment ... as a perceptual as well as a motor process” (p. 183). This chapter describes some of the research in the development of infant perceptual behavior, especially that behavior that is important to movement control. Instead of viewing perception as a thing or as a process, as most cognitive psychologists do, behavior analysts view it as behavior under particular types of stimulus control (e.g., Knapp, 1987; Nevin, 1973; Schoen-feld & Cumming, 1963). The development of perceptual behavior is simply the change from simpler to more complex instances of these types of stimulus control. The primary emphasis of the present chapter is on the development of visual perceptual behavior, that is, the control of behavior by visual stimuli and their interrelations. The present emphasis is justified because of the importance of visual stimuli for such behaviors as locomotion and visually guided reaching, which were discussed in chapter 5.


Stimulus Control Retinal Image Depth Perception Size Constancy Behavior Analyst 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry D. SchlingerJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Western New England CollegeSpringfieldUSA

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