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5. Vision: The Nature Nurture Debate
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about the nature-nurture debate in the field of visual perception psychology, focusing firstly on two key questions: (i) whether there is any aspect of vision that is innate and present at birth, and how much of what we see is defined by our experiences; then focussing on: (ii) Mark Johnson and John Morton’s studies on infant facial recognition, reporting that new-borns stared a lot longer at facial stimuli than stimuli made up of scrambled facial components; (iii) John Pettigrew’s research into early visual experiences using new-born kittens, finding that kittens who had been exposed to only striped environments in early life showed few differences in behaviour compared to control kittens, but had marked differences in cell responsiveness in the primary visual cortex.
In this course, Dr Alex Mitchell (University of Edinburgh) explores visual perception from both a biological and a cognitive perspective. In the first lecture, we think about what perception psychology is and how the biological structure of our eyes and visual systems in the brain enable us to see. In the second lecture, we think about the biological approach to understanding colour vision and tetrachromacy. In the third lecture, we think about the cognitive approach to understanding colour vision, with a specific focus on the role of language in impacting our visual experiences and expression. Next, we think about brain damage, with specific focus on the role of lesion studies and the double dissociation method for establishing causation. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about the nature nurture debate in vision, looking at Morton and Johnson’s research on infant facial recognition and Pettigrew’s research into new-born kitten visual stimuli exposure.
Dr Alex Mitchell is a teaching fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. Dr Mitchell specialises in understanding human vision, specifically how what we see, as well as how changes in the brain caused by damage or neurodegeneration, affects how we interact with our world, using numerous brain-scanning technologies to complete her research, including fMRI and MEG. Some of Dr Mitchell's recent publications include 'Pseudoneglect is reliable across time but not task’' (2020), 'Assessment of visually guided reaching in prodromal Alzheimer’s disease: a cross-sectional study protocol' (2020), and 'Peripheral reaching in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment' (2022).
Cite this Lecture
Mitchell, A. (2022, March 15). Psychological Approaches – Visual Perception from Biological and Cognitive Perspectives - Vision: The Nature Nurture Debate [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/approaches-visual-perception-from-biological-and-cognitive-perspectives/vision-the-nature-nurture-debate
Mitchell, A. "Psychological Approaches – Visual Perception from Biological and Cognitive Perspectives – Vision: The Nature Nurture Debate." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Mar 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/approaches-visual-perception-from-biological-and-cognitive-perspectives/vision-the-nature-nurture-debate