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Brain, Perception, MemoryAdvances in Cognitive Neuroscience$
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Johan J. Bolhuis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524823

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524823.001.0001

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Predispositions in perceptual and cognitive development

Predispositions in perceptual and cognitive development

(p.69) 5 Predispositions in perceptual and cognitive development
Brain, Perception, Memory

Mark H. Johnson

Johan J. Bolhuis

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews evidence from animals and humans on the role of predispositions in perceptual development. In particular, it focuses in detail on two related examples of predispositions, early filial preferences in the chick and face preferences in the human newborn. It uses the examples to examine in more detail the mechanisms underlying predispositions and the functions of predispositions. Virtually all of the specific predispositions reviewed in this chapter have relevance to social behaviour. It is postulated that there is a specific reason for this; namely that the newly born or hatched animal is bombarded with a variety of conspicuous moving objects, and it is vital for it to discriminate and attend preferentially to those which will be of greatest relevance to its subsequent survival. There is continuing debate about this issue among those studying human cognitive development.

Keywords:   predispositions, filial preferences, face preferences, social behaviour, cognitive development

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