2018-07-25

The world seen through the eyes of an infant

The world seen through the eyes of an infant

The world is blurred and colourless, mainly seen in black and white, but where the red color stands out. In the very first days of life, the visual acuity of the newborn is only 5% of that of an adult, that is to say that everything appears blurry to him and that only at a distance of 30 cm can he recognize a vague expression of the face he has in front of him, while at 60 cm the faces become greyish spots and at 120 cm they are practically indistinguishable. Although it has an imperfect vision, the newborn baby recognizes the central elements of a face as mouth and eyes. This is enough for him to recognize the emotions of an adult and especially to imitate him.

Within a few weeks, the newborn baby begins to distinguish between colours, first red and green, then blue and yellow, and to recognize the shapes and perceive the depth. Instead, at six months of age, he sees the world as an adult. At that point coordination between the two eyes also developed, allowing stereoscopic vision and depth perception, although the system continues to improve, almost certainly until ten years.

Color perception

The perception of colors is due to the cells of the retina called cones, sensitive to light of different wavelengths. Since birth, an infant already "knows" the categories of colors and divides them into five large groups - red, blue, green, yellow and purple - the same that are found in all languages of the world. The colours would therefore be universal, not due to language learning.

Lucia Franco

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