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Lecture 8

CHYS 2P10 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Dopamine Receptor D4, Social Change, Animacy

Child and Youth Studies
Course Code
Anthony Volk

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Intentions, beliefs, emotions, desires
We all have the capacity to read someone else's mind
We have an understanding of what other people think (psychics)
Negotiation: what are they trying to get out of this
Difference between manslaughter and murder: what is going on in someone else's
mind (intention vs not intention)
Moral judgments, empathy, conduct disorder
Loss of a loved one
Social development
Think at a high level
Reasoning about representations
Cognitive development
Theory of mind
Social cognition
Difference in a year: gullible
http://chedd-ang It’s a Kids world
Test theory of minds through false beliefs: do you know something that somebody else
False Beliefs
Understanding of beliefs and photographs both develop between 3- and 4-years, but...
Performance is not typically correlated (e.g., Zaitchik, 1991)
Dissociation in Autism
Training on one does not affect performance on the other (Slaughter, 1998)
Dissociation in Development
Theory of mind is something special that is done in a special part of the brain
Use the general intelligence to overcome specifics
Theory of mind is a unique and specific ability
IQ and Animacy
Based on an evolutionary perspective
Theory-of-mind reasoning is “domain-specific”
Relies on special neuro-cognitive computations
Can be impaired by injury or abnormal development.
Strong hypothesis from autism
Simon says
Do what the bear and not what dragons
Kids who lack inanition and self-control are more likely to do what the dragon does
Bear/Dragon Test
Looking for signs on whether the child can control themselves
Executive functioning
Appropriate delay
There is a correlation between the false belief task and not the false photograph
Inhibition Correlations
Children who had better inhibition had a better theory of mind
Possible advanced emergence of frontal function/inhibition
Parenting and discipline
Observations of schools
Ethnographic data
Clinical and population genetics
Chinese preschoolers
Week 8: Social Development
CHYS 2P10 Page 1

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ADHD is absent and ADHD controls the difficulty of inhibiting yourself
AD/HD, Frontal Functioning, & DRD4 7-repeat allele
DRD4 7-repeat very rare in Asian populations (never been seen in Han Chinese).
The Chinese children out perform American children on inhibition
Inhibition does not apply to Chinese
Same relationship: better inhibition means earlier theory of mind
The Chinese children have the same theory of mind
Will Chinese children have a better theory of mind?
Clinical and population genetics
Chinese come from a society with a one child policy
Number of older siblings predicts emergence of theory-of-mind reasoning (Perner et
al., 1996)
Clear differences with Chinese
Siblings: having an older sibling speed up theory of mind development, easier to
understand siblings mind rather than the parents mind
Because they get the parent coaching and siblings it offsets the factor of less
Talk about mental states promotes theory-of-mind development (Ruffman, Slade &
Crowe, 2002).
Possible differences with Chinese
Parent-child Conversations: north American parents were more likely to make theory of
mind references
Individuals who have the rights social environment have a better theory of mind
Role of Experience
Reasoning about beliefs is associated with “special” neuro-cognitive requirements
Performance on marker tasks of frontal lobe functioning correlate with theory-of-mind
Theory of mind: biological underpinnings that are influenced by the social
Seems likely that maturation and experience each play a crucial role in theory-of-mind
General Summary
They are all rooted in our evolutionary heritage, make their appearance early in infancy,
and have a rapid, automatic onset
They have distinct, universally-recognized facial patterns (smile=happy)
They are believed to be innate and hardwired into the subcortical motor areas of the brain
Signal that has an important value
Joy is perhaps best illustrated by the smile
Endogenous smiles appear in newborns
Typically during sleep, associated with low levels of brain activity (asocial)
Duchenne smiles are the first genuine social smiles, occur at 1 month
Social smiling appears to be influenced by cognitive development
Something positive that has happened to you
Likely related to the cognitive processes that associated an object in the environment
with a positive (or sometimes novel) internal representation
Smiles become increasingly selective (informed) with age
Create some kind of bond (social bond)
Smiling is a very powerful emotional signal that may serve to initiate and maintain
social interactions with adults
Laughter plays a similar role, and also becomes increasingly social & selective with
age (at around 8 months)
Joy (Happiness)
Six Basic Emotions in Infancy
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