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Lecture 3

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2500
Professor
Kim O' Neil
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 3 Different phases - Phase 1 germinal- conception to day 10 - Phase 2 implantation- day 10-14 - Phase 3 embryo phase- week 3 to 8 - Phase 4 fetal phase-final 7 months - Gestation period of pregnancy is 40 weeks (count from first day of last menstrual cycle) • Strictly speaking, the women is often pregnant for 38 weeks Prenatal development: period of the zygote - Zygote fertilized egg… implants itself in the wall of the uterus - From week 1-2 Prenatal development: period of the embryo - Week 3-8 - Recognize that the head is much larger in proportion to the rest of the body (we grow from the head down) - Rapid growth Different terminology - Amniotic sac/amniotic fluid • Keeps temperature constant and softens the blow of an impact - Placenta • Layers of cells that develop around the fetus • Protective barrier - Umbilical cord • System which brings nutrients into the developing fetus from the mother, and carries waste out - Neural tube • Develops early. Eventually becomes brain and spinal cord - Age of viability (22-28 weeks) • Age at which the fetus can survive outside of the womb with or without medical intervention • Born before this, they can have developmental issues (cognitive, sensory, are often smaller in height and weight)  In first years of life these developmental delays may be more prevalent than later in life - Sensitive period • The right environment/environmental supports to produce a certain behavior • If no support, your development in that area may be delayed, or it may never develop (ex: language) • If you are exposed to harmful environmental agents during development, this can affect it Prenatal environment Teratology (teros- monster, logy- the study of) - Teratogens refers to agents that cause abnormal development in the fetus • Teratogens can have physical effects (malformation) or psychological effects (intelligence, temperament, activity) - Classes of teratogens include: • Drugs  Ex: thalidomide- prescribed to mothers who were experiencing morning sickness. Went on to impair limb development in babies)  Legal and illegal drugs can have harmful events • Infectious diseases  Ex: rubella, chicken pox, and syphilis pass through the placenta and attack the fetus directly  AIDS can be transmitted to the baby through the birth canal • Mother’s age  Very young or much older.Also, the father’s age • Poor nutrition  Can result in premature birth or small size • Other environmental agents  Ex: study in textbook p.83-84  Decline of male children born in first nations community  Higher rates of toxins in the environment may have led to a lower rate of male births in this particular region Teratogens - Effects worst when forming/growing • Not all fetuses affected equally (ex: FAS- FetalAlcohol Syndrome)  Case where women who are drinking heavily give birth to a normal child, whole a women who has the occasional drink has a baby with FAS  This is why alcohol is supposed to be completely avoided during pregnancy (because we aren’t sure how the fetus will uniquely respond) • Different teratogens can cause same defect • More exposure = higher harm • Paternal teratogens exist  Fathers who are heavy drinkers or smoke weed • Effects can be mediated by postnatal environment  Strategies can help children improve Types of teratogens - Street drugs • Babies of drug-addicted mothers are born addicted and are likely to have developmental problems - Therapeutics • Drugs such as thalidomide may induce abnormalities - Caffeine • Some risk is associated with caffeine - Nicotine • Can affect growth, increase risk of premature delivery - Alcohol • Can lead to FetalAlcohol Syndrome  FAE (FetalAlcohol Effects): child is experiencing some of the symptoms, but not as severe  Children have attentional issues, cognitive impairments  1/100 children in Canada - Environmental • Mercury, lead, and PCBs are harmful chemicals to the fetus - Maternal, infections, and diseases • Can damage the CNS, cause brain abnormalities and blindness, and produce facial abnormalities Natural teratogens - Nutrition • Poor prenatal nutrition results in unfavorable development, low brain weight, and higher rates of spontaneous abortion, cognitive development, and motor skills • Also linked to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) - Stress • Prenatal anxiety and stress experienced by expectant moms has been correlated with later behavioral problems and cognitive deficiencies in infants/children • Attention problems, anxiety problems, hyperactivity • May be a result of increased levels of cortisol  Which diverts blood flow away from the developing fetus, or reduces blood flow - Parental age • Childbearing at an advanced age poses a risk for genetic disorders, preterm birth, and maternal/infant mortality  Aging ova hypothesis: women are born with all their eggs. Therefore, as time goes on, their eggs become older, and so does the genetic information in them
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