Development of Visual Perception in Early Childhood

Visual perception and visual memory are intimately related, as evidenced by the fact that newborns improve their ability to recognise and recall objects as they grow older. Infants can better recognise familiar faces and remember where objects are as their visual memory grows. Infants' visual perception and memory continue to advance as they get more knowledge about their surroundings.

What is the Visual Perception in Early Childhood Infant Visual Memory?

Visual perception is the capacity to comprehend and engage with the visual environment. Visual perception starts to develop soon after birth and is a crucial talent for learning and growth in the early years of life. Infants gradually grow more aware of their surroundings throughout the first few months of life and begin to comprehend visual images. They gain the capacity to identify and recall many visual items, including faces and toys. Infants' visual vision continues to develop as they grow and develop, enabling them to distinguish between colours, read facial expressions, spot patterns, and locate objects in space.

Visual perception depends heavily on visual memory. It is the capacity to retain and bring to mind visual details including the positions of things, faces, and colours. Infancy is where visual memory growth starts, and childhood is when it continues. Within a few days of birth, infants begin to remember the faces of their parents and are able to identify familiar faces, objects, and locations. Infants can recall where items are in space and get better at remembering and recognising them as they get older.

Areas of Infants' Visual Development

Visual vision is extremely important in newborns and young children. Infants' visual ability and memory undergo major developmental changes during early life. Here's a summary of how visual perception and baby visual memory developed throughout this time:

Visual Acuity

Infants' visual acuity, or how sharp and clear their eyesight is, significantly improves during the early years of life. Their vision is rather hazy from birth, and they have trouble focusing on objects. Their visual system, however, rapidly develops throughout the first several months of life. Their eyes and brain's neurological connections develop more precisely, enabling them to recognise and distinguish finer details.

They are able to see objects more clearly as a result of an improvement in their visual acuity. Most infants' visual acuity reaches adult levels by about 6 months of age. Their capacity to explore and engage with their environment, as well as their general visual perception, depends on this developmental change in visual acuity.

The visual senses are the most significant of all the senses, and humans rely on them the most to explore and examine their surroundings. The visual system is less developed during the berth and continues to grow in the eye and brain even after the berth. Because their visual systems are still growing, newborn newborns' visual acuity is restricted because they cannot focus their eyes very well.

A newborn can only see up to 20 feet while berthing, compared to 400 feet for adults. Infants cannot see close things either. Despite having poor visual acuity, infants actively investigate their surroundings and track moving things. Their eye movements, however, are sluggish and imprecise. However, by 3 months of age, the baby's visual structures have improved significantly, and he can concentrate objects in the way of adults, and by 6 months, it has reached an adult level, i.e. 20/20. Scanning and tracking are also much better now that eye movement is under deliberate control.

Colour Vision

Infants have a poor colour vision at first, thus everything around them appears to be in various grayscales. However, they quickly gain colour vision. Most infants can distinguish between different colours by the time they are two to three months old. The growth of cones, the retina's colour-sensitive photoreceptor cells, is responsible for this enhancement. Infants get more skilled at recognising and differentiating colours as cones become more functional. Infants can now encounter the vibrant, varied colours of their environment thanks to this developmental milestone, which improves their visual experiences and helps them comprehend their surroundings more fully.

Depth Perception

Infants gradually acquire depth perception, the capacity to comprehend objects in three dimensions. Infants start to show depth cues like relative size and interposition by about 3−4 months of age. They are able to distinguish one thing from another by size or proximity, and they comprehend that objects might exist on separate spatial planes when one partially blocks another. Infants can now interact with items more sophisticatedly and navigate their environment more efficiently because of this growth. The ability to perceive depth is a crucial aspect of visual perception that helps people comprehend the three-dimensional nature of the environment.

Visual Preferences

Infants' visual preferences are defined as their propensity to express interest in and attention to certain visual stimuli. For instance, young children show a liking for faces, particularly those that make direct eye contact. Their intrinsic social impulses are probably the source of this affinity. Because faces offer crucial social clues and act as a channel for communication and emotional connection with carers, babies are drawn to them. Infants' early liking for faces aids in the formation and growth of social relationships. It is a crucial component of their visual perception and helps young children's overall socio−emotional growth.

Visual Tracking

Infants gradually learn to track moving objects with their eyes. Most infants can track things throughout their visual field smoothly by 2−3 months. This ability enables individuals to visually engage with items, people, and their surroundings. It is a significant developmental milestone in their visual growth since it indicates the maturing of their eye muscles and visual processing ability. Visual tracking aids infants' exploration of their surroundings and their cognitive and motor growth. It also aids in the growth of spatial relationships and contributes to the general comprehension of their surroundings.

Object Recognition

Object recognition occurs in infants as their visual system matures. In the beginning, infants favour basic, high-contrast designs. They improve their ability to recognise and remember complicated items and faces over time. Infants may remember visual stimuli they have seen before, according to studies. They may store visual information for extended periods of time as their memory capacities develop. This growth is influenced by factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental stimulation, and social contact. Infants' capacity to recognise and remember items is greatly influenced by their early experiences and possibilities for visual exploration.

Development on Visual Memory

In terms of infant visual memory, research indicates that infants have the capacity for visual recognition memory from birth. Studies using habituation procedures, for example, have revealed that newborns as young as a few months old can remember visual cues they had previously viewed. Infants' memory powers develop with age, allowing them to remember visual information for extended periods of time. It is critical to recognise that the growth of visual perception and memory in babies is a complex process impacted by a variety of factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental stimulation, and social interaction.


To summarise, the development of visual perception and memory in newborns is a complex process impacted by a variety of factors. As they develop their visual acuity, colour vision, depth perception, visual preferences, visual tracking, and object identification, infants recognise and remember more visual clues. It is critical to create interesting visual settings for infants in order to foster the growth of visual perception and memory.

Updated on: 09-Nov-2023


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