Phenomenal qualities and the development of perceptual integration

In Liliana Albertazzi (ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology; Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance. Wiley-Blackwell (2013)
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In this chapter, data concerning the development of principal aspects of vision is reviewed. First, the development of colour vision and luminance perception is discussed. Relevant data accumulated so far indicates that perception of colour and luminance is present by 6-9 months of age. The presence of typical color illusions at this age suggests that the phenomenal character of color experience is comparable to that of adults well before the first birthday. Thus it seems plausible that color perception develops on the grounds of genetically preprogrammed maturation, in which perceptual learning and plasticity play a limited role. This claim also seems to be supported by case studies of newly sighted patients. On the other hand, perceptual integration of edges and forms in the visual environment as well as the development of binocular vision, and the perception of ambiguous figures seem to depend crucially on early perceptual learning. Both developmental and clinical data indicate a more significant involvement of perceptual learning in such mid-level and higher level perceptual phenomena.

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Zoltan Jakab
Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences


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