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Summarise the Aims and Context of Gibson and Walk's Visual Cliff

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Summarise the Aims and Context of Gibson and Walk's "Visual Cliff" Gibson and Walk's study looks at the development and maturation of depth perception. Depth perception is our ability to observe our environment and use our visual system to see how far or near surfaces and objects are. This ability is essential for everyday functioning, especially in relation to mobility. Gibson and Walk wanted to investigate at what point, at or after birth, we possess and are able to utilise this ability. ...read more.


They believe that although the ability needs to mature to be fully functioning, it exists from birth. It is true that all the components necessary for depth perception exist, for example optic nerves which are shorter and narrower when a person is young (slowing the transmission of information from the eye to the brain). Nativists support the nature side of the nature/nurture debate. Interactionists believe that although our abilities are innate, they need develop within our environments and certain internal systems need to mature. ...read more.


Their results found that the rats, whether raised in the light or dark, jumped with a force closely correlated with distance, suggesting that depth perception in rats is innate. These findings were disputed however, due to the pre-training required to carry out the experiment. Gibson and walked aimed to create an experiment to accurately and carefully investigate the development of depth perception in both human and non-human animals, whether this ability is innate and if not, how long it takes to develop and why. They believed that if it was innate it would be apparent by the time they could move independently. ...read more.

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