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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Sensory, motor and physical development

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Kristelle Hudry

Sensory, motor and physical development Overview  Prenatal sensation  Early reflexes  Infant sensory experience  Voluntary cortical control  Sensory integration and perception  Gross motor skill  Fine motor control  Sensory systems in adulthood  Physical changes in adolescence  Physical changes in older adulthood Utero (senses and movement) A lot goes on within utero, there is evidence the foetus has the capacity to learn and get bored. A few things a foetus can do/sense;  Hearing (can perceive movements as sound as opposed as vibrations  Taste/olfaction (evidence foetus’ prefer sweeter tastes to bitter ones, taste through liquid)  Touch (responds to touch as it moves away/toward sensation i.e touch a ladies stomach and baby will change its behaviour)  Vision (some evidence for perception of illumination) Movement;  Voluntary kicking (in response to stimulation) Sensory organs in Neonates Olfaction:  Recognise & orient to mother Hearing:  Neonates can localise direction of sounds  Distinguish human voice recognise maternal language by distinguishing b/w this and other environmental sounds and will listen to mother Basic vision:  Focus on a distance just right for feeding (closer up things)  Respond to high contrast patterns i.e faces(struggle to see lower contrast things)  Cant track movement or focus voluntarily which indicates learning through pregnancy as at point of birth there are preferences i.e one language over another as babies will prefer English over another language. Early reflexive movement Neo-natal reflexes; Involuntary movements;  Elicited by stimulation  Has a survival value which is why it is reflexive  Controlled sub-cortically -Which some continue later on through life i.e sneezing, breathing blinking etc -some reflexive movements are important for infant survival whilst brain is developing, - rooting, sucking (food), swimming etc Voluntary movement and cortical control The brainstem is responsible/supports neo-natal reflexes however around 2-5 months these cortical regions mature and reflexes disappear and are replaced more voluntary movement.  Cephalo-caudal & proximo-distal direction of growth.  SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome)  seems to occur around 2-5months and is aligned with a change in control from reflexive to controlled behaviour as the brain is not mature enough to control sleeping and changes to head position if sleep is interrupted. (greater odds if any respitory distress i.e cold/smokers) Motor Milestones  genetic sequence/timetable of milestones and growth unfolds within the context of environmental conditions and happens across all cultures. Motors maturation vs. experience? Experiments with twins occurred to see if one child got coaching, would it mean they hit the milestone quicker? McGraw (1939) (looked at swimming & skating) study indicated that yes-motor skills developed are improved by environmental factors/coaching, however other twin studies indicate that this is not the case and indicates that children who are trained don’t really hit milestones any earlier than untrained children. i.e uni-dimensional training vs. multidimensional experience Cultural differences;  Non western babies, i.e abori
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