The Guardian is pleased to announce the launch of First Impressions, its third virtual reality project available on Daydream View, Google’s platform for high quality, mobile VR.

Using state-of-the-art VR technology, First Impressions enables viewers to explore how a baby sees the world during the first six months of life.

Drawing on the latest academic research, viewers can relive the dramatic visual development that happens over this time. At first only muted colours are visible, then as the experience unfolds the world is coloured in – first reds and greens, then yellows and blues. Depth of focus increases, slowly the room becomes 3D and parents, other children, objects and even the family dog come into focus.

The piece also examines the importance of social interaction and the negative impact that child neglect can have on neural development during this crucial period. The voice of Charles Nelson PhD, professor of pediatrics at Harvard, guides viewers through First Impressions, explaining the impact on brain development, behaviour and social functioning in children if they are deprived of responsive care and social interaction during this formative time.

Created by the Guardian’s in-house VR team, First Impressions is one of a series of six editorially independent virtual reality films which the Guardian will launch on Daydream.

Francesca Panetta, executive editor, virtual reality, Guardian News & Media, said: “First Impressions is a beautiful portrayal of the first six months of life and gives viewers a real insight into a period of crucial development which we have all experienced but aren’t able to recall. It’s another example of the Guardian’s innovative storytelling through VR, using this technology as a tool to bring new experiences to life for viewers.”

Charles Nelson PhD, professor of pediatrics at Harvard, said: “First Impressions has much to commend it for anyone interested in infant development. The ability to explore the world through the eyes of a baby offers an unprecedented opportunity to really understand how they see and experience the world.”

This article originally appeared as a press release on The Guardian, on Tuesday, 11th of April.

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