Sensory development

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2015 Apr;62(2):367-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2014.11.003. Epub 2015 Jan 21.


Sensory development is complex, with both morphologic and neural components. Development of the senses begins in early fetal life, initially with structures and then in-utero stimulation initiates perception. After birth, environmental stimulants accelerate each sensory organ to nearly complete maturity several months after birth. Vision and hearing are the best studied senses and the most crucial for learning. This article focuses on the cranial senses of vision, hearing, smell, and taste. Sensory function, embryogenesis, external and genetic effects, and common malformations that may affect development are discussed, and the corresponding sensory organs are examined and evaluated.

Keywords: Hearing; Neonate; Oral development; Sensory; Smell; Taste; Vision.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Cleft Lip / diagnosis
  • Cleft Lip / etiology
  • Cleft Palate / diagnosis
  • Cleft Palate / etiology
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Hearing / physiology
  • Hearing Disorders / congenital
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neonatal Screening*
  • Sensation / physiology*
  • Smell / physiology
  • Taste / physiology
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology