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Chapter 11: Human Development (1)
Chapter 11: Human Development (1)

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Carleton University
PSYC 1002
Lorena Ruci

Lecture 7: Chapter 11 Human Development Prenatal Development  Germinal Stage (first 2 weeks) o Conception, implantation, formation of placenta o Placenta is a structure that allows oxygen and nutrients from mother’s body to be transferred to embryo’s body  Embryonic Stage (2 weeks – 2 months) o Formation of vital organs and systems o Heart, lungs, and brain o Characterized by important changes and as a period of vulnerability; if anything goes wrong, like chromosomal abnormality or exposure to harmful environmental factors, then in 90-95% of the cases the embryo is expelled o Majority of miscarriages are during this stage  Fetal Stage (2 months – birth) o Bodily growth continues, movement capability begins, brain cells multiply o Age of viability (22 – 23 weeks); if baby is born prematurely, they have some chance of surviving outside the mother’s body o By 26 – 28 weeks, survival rate is 85% How is Sex Determined?  Egg is fertilized by sperm  Egg cell contains an X chromosome  Sperm cell contains either X or Y chromosome  Up until 6 weeks, still sexless  Region in the short part of the Y chromosome called SRY region (sex determinant region of Y chromosome)  If the Y chromosome has this region, there are hormonal changes that occur; these hormone start a chain reaction that makes androgens, which are the male sex hormone  The baby will then develop into a male  However, if this region is missing due to an abnormality, then there will still be an X and Y chromosome, but it will develop to be female  The child will look like a normal female, but not undergo regular female puberty o Sawyer syndrome, odds of this is 1 in 30,000  Cannot reproduce, but have the chance to function like normal females  De le Chapelle syndrome: region jumps from Y to X, making two X’s, but the child is male o 1 in 28,000  If X chromosome, or if SRY is missing, then it’s a female  Schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, more prevalent in men because dopamine in males is regulates by SRY region  Dopamine is responsible for controlling pleasure/sexual motivation, also controls movement and development Environmental Factors and Prenatal Development  Maternal nutrition o Malnutrition linked to increased risk of birth complication, neurological problems, and psychopathology, as well as low birth weight  Maternal drug use o Tobacco, alcohol, prescription, and recreational drugs (marijuana) o Fetal alcohol syndrome: developmental and social adjustment problems o One of the leading causes in retardation in children o Heart defects, irritable, characterized by hyperactivity, prone to depression and suicide o In adulthood, these children will tend to engage in more criminal behaviour  Maternal illness o Rubella, syphilis, mumps, genital herpes, AIDS, severe influenza o Parental health care o Prevention through guidance  Increased awareness to invest in prenatal care to prevent any of these problems from happening Fetal Alcohol Syndrome*  Impairs brain development (pain regulation)  Serotonin levels  Acute pain responses  Reduced stress activity o Result of lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone)  From animal studies, we know alcohol impairs the body’s ability to respond to pain  Serotonin is important to send signals between brain regions, and to other functions like pain awareness o If levels drop because of alcohol exposure, then the child will not have a good pain response  Biobehavioural markers, monitor: o Salivary cortisol levels o Heart rate o Took longer to react to pain, heart rate and cortisol levels were much lower than control group (babies born to mothers who hadn’t consumed alcohol)  Critical brain areas involved in regulating pain responses o Altered stress regulation  If there’s alcohol consumption within the first three months, it can alter all of these things in the baby’s body, especially pain regulatory and stress regulatory systems Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco*  Adverse prenatal effects have been shown  What about adolescence? o 35 young adolescents (age 12) o Prenatally exposed to drugs (weed/cocaine), alcohol, and tobacco o By using MRI, they looked at their brain structures o Reduction in brain volumes and cortical gray matter o Effects were additive; the more drugs/alcohol/tobacco consumed during pregnancy, the more pronounced the biological effects were on the children o Long-term neuroanatomical effects o More irritable, and other social/behavi
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