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Psych 1XX3 Development I and II Lecture Notes.pdf

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Joe Kim

Psychology 1XX3 Notes – Development I and II – Jan 4, 2010 Development / Evolution / Neuroscience Def’n of Development: Refers to the changes and continuities that occur within the individual btw conception and death.  Developmental psychologists are not only interested in understanding how you change over time, but also how you stay the same. Def’n of Maturation: The biologically-timed unfolding of changes within the individual; how that plan unfolds in influenced by specific environmental conditions that shape the genetically-determined processes Def’n of Learning: The acquisition of neuronal representations of new information.; Relatively permanent changes in out thoughts, behaviours and feelings as a result of our experiences.  Thru learning processes, you avoid touching a hot stove, look both ways before crossing road, etc – these learned processes can be controlled but can also become so practise as to be automatic  Example: As an adult you automatically look to the left then look to the right when crossing a road, however this strategy is not optimal behaviour in places where cars drive on the other side of road – you have to overcome your past learning to use the optimal strategy Interactionist Perspective: The view that holds that maturation and learning interact during development. How does maturation affect learning?  Some essential systems must be in place before learning proceeds – you won’t learn to walk until you’ve developed muscles in your torso and limbs and the ability to balance  Trying to teach a 4 mo old to walk will not work – they aren’t physically mature How does learning affect maturation?  I.E. a child given proper nutrition but isolated in a dark room, unable to play or interact w/ anyone – you would expect problems developing normal vision, speech, motor and social skills  Without some minimal level of input to learn from the outside world, maturation will be absent or delayed Note: Changes that are earlier in life, are much more dramatic than those occurring later in life. – Many researchers believe that the developmental changes that take place during these early years play an especially important role in shaping who you become. 4 Ways to Measure Abilities in Infants: 1. Habituation Procedure:  Repeatedly presenting an infant with the same stimulus, while measuring changes in physiological responses (like heart rate, breathing) or behavioural orienting responses (head/eye movements)  When a novel stimulus is presented, an infant will initially show a burst of activity – as the same stimulus is repeatedly presented, the infant’s responses will return to baseline levels – at this point the infant has demonstrated habituation to the stimulus  Def’n of Habituation: A decrease in the responsiveness to a stimulus following it’s repeated presentation  Def’n of Dishabituation: An increase in the responsiveness to a stimulus that is somehow different from the habituated stimulus. 2. Event Related Potentials:  A measure of the brain electrical activity evoked by the presentation of stimuli  To measure event related potentials, a special cap with an array of electrodes is placed on scalp – these sensitive electrodes can detect changes in electric activity across a population o neurons in the brain – the particular behaviour being measure will evoke changes in various brain regions of interest  I.E. if you’re presenting visual stimulus  changes in activity in occipital lobe of brain, if you’re presenting auditory stimulus, changes in temporal lobe region 3. High-Amplitude Sucking Method:  In procedure, you first measure the baseline sucking rate for the infant in the absence of relevant stimuli – during the shaping procedure, the infant in given control over the presentation of a stimulus to be tested (I.E. musical notes)  If the infant sucks on the pacifier at a raster rate than baseline, a switch is activated in the pacifier that causes the stimulus to be presented  If the infant can detect the musical notes and likes what she hears, she can keep the musical notes playing for longer by increasing her sucking rate – but if the infant doesn’t like the sounds she can stop sucking sooner and end the presentation 4. Preference Method:  The infant is put in a looking chamber to simultaneously look at two different stimuli – the researcher can accurately measure the direction that the infant is looking to tell if more attention is being directed to one stimulus over the other  I.E. infants prefer looking at big patters w/ lots of black/white contrasts, as well as human faces Limitations: Competence-Performance Distinction:  An individual may fail a task not because they lack those cognitive abilities, but because they are unable to demonstrate those abilities. Introduction to Developmental Research Designs  Developmental studies are often concerned with repeated measures over time – I.E. a typical study on memory might look specifically at the performance for remembering a list of numbers in an undergraduate population at a single test point. A developmental study would look at how remembering a list of numbers changes with age. Def’n of Longitudinal Design: A developmental design in which the same individuals are studied over some subset of their lifespan – researchers examine the abilities and characteristics of the same individuals repeatedly over a subset of their lifespan Disadvantages:  Expensive and time consuming  Selective attrition: some participants may quit, become unfit to continue, or die – the remaining participants may only reflect the skills of a subset of truly enthusiastic subjects  Practice effects: participants’ performance may improve based on prior exposure alone, rather than on natural development  These challenges mean that the longitudinal study is used less frequently in the real world Def’n of Cross-Sectional Design: A developmental research design in which individuals from different age groups are studied at the same point in time. Disadvantages:  Cannot distinguish age effects from generational effects (I.E. do 25 year olds remember more numbers compared to 50 year olds because of decline in cognitive ability or because 25 year olds had more PIN, phone and locker numbers to remember)  Cannot directly assess individual development change – instead you’re making an inference on trends in group data Development II Hereditary Transmission:  Cell contains 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent – results from the HGP show we have between 30k to 40k genes  Each parent can produce more than 8 million different genetic combinations, each couple can produce 64 trillion genetically distinct offspring  Exception: Twins. Monozygotic twins contain the same sperm/ovum and are ge
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