Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award

4-30-2020

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

Biology-BS

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Laurie-Rose

First Committee Member

Cynthia Laurie-Rose, PhD

Second Committee Member

David Sheridan, PhD

Third Committee Member

Louise Captein, MFA

Keywords

Perceptual Abilities, Optometry, Vision

Subject Categories

Anatomy | Biology | Life Sciences | Optometry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes | Sense Organs

Abstract

There is little research in the field of visual memory and perceptual abilities of children as compared to adults. This thesis seeks to understand and provide new perspectives to this field with potential implications in the fields of optometry and education. Through two basic experiments, this thesis evaluates the abilities of individuals to perceive a visual stimulus and compare it other visual stimuli, while also observing their abilities to learn and remember various visual stimuli. Through experimentation using line length as the visual stimulus, the method of constant stimuli (MCS) evaluates subjects’ visual perception and the method of single stimuli (MSS) evaluates subjects’ visual memory. In addition, a test called the Letter-Digit Substitution Test assesses cognitive abilities in an effort to determine if there is any connection between visual memory and cognitive abilities. The MCS demonstrated no significant difference in performance between children and adults as whole groups, but there were significant differences for specific trial lengths. Alternatively, the MSS showed a significant difference between children and adults for the whole groups as well as for individual trial lengths. Interestingly, children performed equally well on the two experiments, indicating that the child’s visual memory for comparison was as good as comparing two lines one directly after another. These results indicate adults and children likely do not have a significant difference in perceptual abilities but do have a significant difference in visual memory.

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