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Psyc 2500: Growth, Habituation, Seeing, Hearing, Sensory, P..
Psyc 2500: Growth, Habituation, Seeing, Hearing, Sensory, Perception

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Carleton University
PSYC 2500
Monique Senechal

th Class 4­ Sept 27  Developmental  Psychology Growth: - Cortex builds over 1 year of life - Baby’s cortex is ¼ of an adult o 3 year ¾ of adult o Year 5 95% of adults After birth: - SYNAPTIC PRUNING: what you don’t need will be pruned (don’t exist anymore) o If we don’t get visual stimulation after birth, our perceptual/visual synapses will be pruned  Critical period – some experiences are expected - Grow in myelinisation – impulses are carried more efficiently o Myelinisation occurs mostly through first year but can last up to 30 Video: - Neurogenesis: formation of new cells - Glial cells form the underlying structure of the nervous system - Dendrites look like antennas and receive incoming signals o Axon is large extension and carries outgoing signals to other neurons - Synapse is point of communication between two neurons - between axon terminals and dendrites - Neurotransmitter is released at the end of every synapse - Pruning is like individualization based on experience Infants have a lot of Plasticity: lose it as they get older - Neuroplasticity exercised (making your brain more efficient) - More like use it or lose it, can’t get better but can prevent it from getting worse Two Types of Experiences for Babies: - Experience-Expectant Growth: experiences expected by the brain/needs certain stimulation for growth to occur (vision, language) - Experience-Dependant Growth: depends on individual experiences, grow to fit circumstances and environment (make each of us unique) - PLASTICITY: ability of brain to re-organize itself. o Two Phenomenon’s:  Brain is more able to recover from injury in children  Jody Example of radical brain surgery • Hemispherectomy (removing half the brain) • Brains can change shape to replace lost parts, left brain started re-connecting itself immediately. Two Issues re-cap: - Teratogens: caesarians are not teratogens - Psychoactive drugs during pregnancy are negotiable. o No physical results o Pre-natal period baby may show signs of withdrawal/crankiness o Issue of cross benefit… major depression after baby is born is 5X more likely if mom stops during pregnancy Chapter 5: - Observations o Cortisol, EEG’s, Heart rate - Habituation: present info over and over to babies, until they stop looking/turn away more frequently- they become bored and will not process it again. Showing the same image over and over or you leave it on, until baby shows these signs. o Then you present new information and look for Dishabituation. Baby can discriminate between old picture and new picture – shows index of discrimination in children. Presuming that children have a memory of first image. o Visual preferences  Want to see whether the children, at equal stimuli, will they prefer one type of stimuli over another. Babies prefer to look at high-contrast things as opposed to subtle (like black and white over different colors) They also prefer patterns. Basic Processes: Seeing o Visual Acuity: how sharp we see images  Vision of new borns is estimated at 20/400 (they see at 20 ft what an adult would see at 400)  Use habituation paradigm to measure visual acuity in new borns, because they can’t use the letter chart.  Want to see whether babies can discriminate between two square pictures – see if the baby will dishabituate to the new squares as the lines get smaller and closer together- eventually it gets bored and thinks it’s the same black box. - Optimal viewing capacity for a baby is 6ft, you want to be close and in high contrast
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