The Gibson's differentiation theory pertains to perceptual learning which involves improvement in both perception as a function of experience and the acquisition of knowledge as a function of changes in perception (Pick).  In other words, Eleanor Gibson held that cognitive processes such as imagining and reasoning develop in proportion to the amount of information we gather from the environment.

According to the Gibsons, perception as a function of experience involves the repeated exposure to certain things; the more that a child sees, hears, or touches these things, the more he/she can not only recognize them, but also discriminate differences in them. In like fashion, the more that the child is exposed to, the more experience and knowledge is acquired which can assist in the discrimination of objects and changes in the way these objects are perceived.