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Lecture 1

PSYC 4P56 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Peer Pressure, Temporal Lobe, Dyslexia


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 4P56
Professor
Christine Lackner
Lecture
1

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INTRODUCTION TO MATURATION AND DEVELOPMENT: MAJOR CONCEPTS IN
DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE
PSYC 4P56
Tuesday January 6, 2014
What is Development?
- Irreversible change as shown in:
oRepertoire of activities by the organism
oGrowth (e.g. emotional, intellectual, social, perpetual change)
- Developmental psychology traditionally focused on mental complexity and structures
(e.g. development of language)
oNow include brain complexity and structures (e.g. maturation of the PFC)
Levels of Description
- Universalist approaches – common pathways vs. individual differences in quantity (rate);
quality (paths)
oRate x paths = outcomes
- Normative vs. ideographic maturation and development
- The basic issue in developmental psychology is brain structure and maturational level
determines what is experienced/learned but… experience/learning changes the brain’s
maturational path
- By mingling, they influence each other so that the result makes their respective
influences inseparable
Biological Forces Shaping Development
- Nothing in the body happens without genetic influence
- Genes produce proteins  influence growth, hormones, etc.
- Hormonal factors (with external and internal influences)
oInfluence development and how you interact with the world
- Neurons are affected…
oBy environment
oBy experience
oBy nutrients
oBy hormones and neurotransmitters
- Brain structures outside the neuron: myelin, fibre tract connections
External Forces that Shape Development
- Social forces affect
oEmotional experience and hormonal balance
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