Site MapHelpFeedbackGlossary
(See related pages)

neonate  A newborn baby.
reflex  A human being's involuntary response to external stimulation.
infant state  A recurring pattern of arousal in the newborn, ranging from alert, vigorous, wakeful activity to quiet, regular sleep.
REM sleep  Characterized by rapid jerky movements of the eyes and, in adults, if often associated with dreaming; infants spend 50 percent of their sleep in REM activity, whereas adults spend only about 20 percent. This activity is absent in the remaining, non-REM sleep.
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)  The sudden, unexplained death of an infant while sleeping; also called "crib death."
autostimulation theory  The theory that during REM sleep the infant's brain stimulates itself and that this in turn stimulates early development of the central nervous system.
Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale  A scale used to measure an infant's sensory and perceptual capabilities, motor development, range of states, and ability to regulate these states. The scale also indicates whether the brain and central nervous system are properly regulating autonomic responsivity.
sensation  The detection of stimuli by the sensory receptors.
perception  The interpretation of sensations in order to make them meaningful.
visual preference method  A method of studying infants' abilities to distinguish one stimulus from another by measuring the length of time they spend attending to different stimuli.
habituation  The process by which an individual reacts with less and less intensity to a repeatedly presented stimulus, eventually responding only faintly or not at all.
visual acuity  Sharpness of vision; the clarity with which fine details can be discerned.
stereoscopic vision  The sense of a third spatial dimension produced by the brain's fusion of the separate images contributed by both eyes, each of which reflects the stimulus from a slightly different angle.
visual cliff  An apparatus that tests an infant's depth perception by using patterned materials and an elevated, clear glass platform to make it appear that one side of the platform is several feet lower than the other.
size constancy  The tendency to perceive an object as constant in size regardless of changes in its distance from the viewer and in the image it casts on the retinas of the eyes.
shape constancy  The ability to perceive an object's shape as remaining constant despite changes in its orientation and the angle from which one views it.
intermodel perception  The use of sensory information from more than one modality to identify a stimulus; also, the apprehension of a stimulus already identified by one modality by means of another.

Child PsychologyOnline Learning Center

Home > Chapter 5 > Glossary