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The sight of the newborn and high-contrast illustrations – what do you need to know?

Having a new member in the family many things change in our live, but one of the most important aspects that you should never forget is that the baby sees the world in a fundamentally different way than us – both figuratively and literally.

The sight of the newborn
The sight of the infants is not so well developed as the other senses. This is due to the fact that the retina is not yet distinguishing certain colors and shades, therefore newborns may recognize only the contrasts in color and especially the contrast between black and white. Of course, within a few months to up to about 2 years of age, retina adapts to the circumstances, and starts to completely fulfill its function.

Let’s get back to the newborns, however – except that they can not distinguish the colors at the beginning your baby does not clearly see shapes and forms more than 33 cm from its eyes. In the second month, this distance is increased up to 50 cm, and the third up to 3 meters.

It is very important the correct approach to the visual stimulation of the child in the first days. This period is associated with the rapidly building of neural connections throughout the body. In its developing your baby gets information about the world through the five senses – the more information it gets, the more connections are created between nerve cells, which favors the overall development of the brain.
Besides black and white images. Babies have a preference for circular shapes and to the faces of people even there are believes that the eyes produce particular interest because of the contrast created between pupil and sclera (white of the eye.)

High contrast pictures and the baby
Having already mentioned the most important aspects related to the peculiarities of the baby’s sight, it is appropriate to underpin their claims, some research focused on the impact of black and white pictures on the babies.

* Experiment Robert Franz, a specialist in developmental psychology, Cleveland, Ohio
Dr. Robert Franz conducts one of the first experiments in this area in the 60 years of the twentieth century. He wants to prove that even children under age 2 see well. For this purpose, the baby sitting in its baby seat and to its attention are presented two stimulus – a black and white checkerboard and plain gray card. Unnoticed, Dr. Franz was watching the baby aside, and he found out that babies prefer the chessboard more than ordinary gray surface and keep their attention on it for longer time, and even explore it a glance.

* The experimentation of TG P Bowen, behavioral psychologist, University of Edinburgh
Following the publication of the study conducted by Dr. R. Franz, many psychologists began to deal with matters related to visual development in infants, as well as their preferences for colors and shapes. Bouel- behavioral psychologist at the University of Edinburgh, presents a series of babies from different black and white images and color maps – white, red and yellow – it turns out that back in a much bigger aspect, their attention is drawn to the contrasting black and white images.

* Philip Salapatek experiment, a child psychologist, University of Minnesota
With the help of a device by which he is able to track the movements of the eyes of newborns. Found that babies move their eyes to the edge of a black triangle on a white background, much more than to focus in the center of the black or the white part of the picture. This means that babies usually look border contrast where the boundary between black and white is stronger, and for them it is easiest just to see that contrast.

Today’s researches also show the apparent preference of newborns to contrasting colors – mostly black, white and red, as more and more studies have shown the positive impact of black and white stimuli on brain development of the baby’s attention and imagination. Black and white images are very suitable for babies up to 6-9 months, but can be interesting and useful for older children – to about 2 to 2.5 years.

We adults are often fascinated by the colorful pastel tones or in general rich colors pictures and toys, but the little person is still not able to accept them as we do. Therefore, we as parents need to know more about the characteristics of children’s sight, to give a maximum good start to the baby from its first day in this world, and the black and white picture books are ideal for this purpose.

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