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Psych 322 Chapter 6

sensorimotor intelligence

piaget's term for the way infants think- by using their senses and motor skills-during the first period of cognitive development.

primary circular reactions

the first of three types of feedback loops in sensorimotor intelligence, this one involving the infant's own body. the infant senses motion, sucking, noise, and so on, and tries to understand them.

secondary circular reactions

the second of three types of feedback loops in sensorimotor intelligence, this one involving people and objects. the infant is responsive to tother people and to toys and other objects the infant can touch and move.

object permanence

the realization that objects (including people) still exist when they cannot be seen, touched, or heard.

tertiary circular reactions

the third of three types of feedback loops in sensorimotor intelligence, this one involving active exploration and experimentation. the infant explores a range of new activities varying his or her responses as a way of learning about the world.

"little scientist"

piaget's term for the stage five toddler (age 12 or 19 months) who experiments without anticipating the results.

deferred imitation

a sequence in which an infant first perceives somethign that someone else does and then performs the same action a few hours or even days later.


the process of getting used to an object or event through repeated exposure to it.


functional magnetic resonance imaging. a measuring technique in which the brains' electrical excitement indicates activation anywhere in the brain; helps researchers locate neurological responses to stimuli.

information-processing theory

a perspective that compares human thinking processes, by analogy, to computer analysis ofdata, including sensory input, connections, stored memories, and output.


an opportunity for perception and interaction that is offered by a person, place, or object in the environment.

visual cliff

an experiemtnal apparatus that gies an illusion of a sudden drop between one horizontal surface and another.

dynamic perception

perception that is primed to focus on movemtn and change.

people preference

a universal principle of infant perception, consisting of an innate attraction to other humans, which is eveident in visual, auditory, tactile, and other preferences.

reminder sesion

a perceptual experience that is intended to help a person recollect an idea, a thing, or an experience, without testing whether the person remembers it at the moment.

child-directed speech

the high-pitched, simplified and repetitive way adults speak to infants.

naming explosion

a sudden increase in an infant's vocabulary, especially in the number of nouns that begins at about 18 months of age.


all the methods-word order, ver forms, and so on- that languages use to communicate meaning, apart from the words themselves.

language acquisition device (LAD)

chomsky's term for a hypothesized mental structure that enables humans to learn language, including the basic aspects of grammar, vocabulary, and intonation.

implicit memory

Unconscious or automated memory that is usually stored via habits, emotional responses, routine procedures, and various sensations.

explicit memory

memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and "declare" AKA Declarative mem


The extended repetition of certain syllables, such as ba-ba-ba, that begins between 6 and 9 months of age


a singl word that is used to express a complete, meaningful thought

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