Two families of views compete to describe how perception begins and develops. The authors show that the traditional constructivist view, emphasizing the construction of perceptual reality through extended learning, has been disconfirmed by experimental data in many domains. An ecological view, emphasizing the role of evolution in preparing infants to perceive, provides a better overall account, but the authors show that both innate foundations and learning contribute to perceptual development. The authors also examine interactions between infants' perceptual abilities and their cognitive, social, and motor development. They argue that the new picture of early perception requires a revised view of the beginnings of human cognitive and social development.