The development of vision in infancy, including acuity, colour perception, depth perception, face perception, and object perception, is essential to our learning and development. Reflect on how the child's experiences in moving and exploring independently and manipulating materials contribute to the child's visual development. The world is a primarily visual environment, nearly every task a person performs each day requires the use of vision. Over time a person must learn to recognise space, size, texture, depth, emotions and all the other links to life that allow them to fully interact with their surroundings. But how does a child's early interactions with their environment effect their vision development and how is this linked to their physical development? Recent advancements into neuroscience suggests that vision and physical development are not two independent processes rather each has a cause and effect on the other. (Reference).
At birth vision is an infant's least developed sense, their visual acuity is approximately 20/600, this results in everything the child sees being blurry regardless of the distance an object or person is away from the newborn. Newborns also lack the ability to differentiate properly between colours although their ability to perceive light and dark is evident through pupil dilation when a light is shone towards them. Nevertheless research suggests that if children are not exposed to differences in light and dark during the first few months for example if they were kept continually in a dark room the visual centre in the child's brain would not develop and the optic nerve would shrivel up. This effect can be linked to the theory of critical periods of brain development and function, this theory suggests that if certain abilities or functions for example vision and language are not developed during certain key age brackets then a child will never gain full use of these skills if any.