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1.1 - Development I.pdf

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Joe Kim

Arnav Agarwal 2011 Development I Module 1 Introduction - Goal of psychology: use rigorous scientific method to understand wide-ranging problems in studying human thought and behavior using multiple levels of analysis to frame - Levels of analysis for biological basis of thought and behavior: o Development (gene-environment interactions across an individual’s lifespan) o Evolution (gene-environment interactions across the evolutionary history of a species) o Neuroscience (study of the nervous system, and the neural basis of thought & behavior)  These interact to shape sensory systems and survival behaviors Arnav Agarwal 2011 Module 2 Introduction to Development - Development: the changes and continuities that occur within the individual between conception and death - Development psychology: study of how an individual changes over time as well as how they stay the same over time - Two processes lead to developmental change: maturation and learning Maturation - Maturation: Biologically-timed unfolding of changes within the individual according to their genetic plan - Influenced by specific environmental conditions that impact genetically-determined processes - Eg: baby X’s genetic plan determining first baby tooth growing at 5 months, walking at 12 months, etc. Learning - Learning: the acquisition of neuronal representations of new information - Relatively-permanent changes in our thoughts, behaviors and feelings as a result of our experiences - Learning processes permit acquiring new knowledge and guide optimal event and stimuli response strategies in the environment - Learning processes can be automatic (with lots of practice, usually) or controlled o Eg: automatic process -> checking both sides before crossing the road practiced so it becomes a habit for them Interactionist Perspective - Emphasizes that most developmental changes reflect an interaction between maturation and learning - The viewpoint considers development to involve interaction between the two - Maturation can affect learning: some essential systems must be in place before learning proceeds o Eg: cannot walk until muscles have developed, cannot talk until mouth and tongue have reached a certain level of dexterity, etc. - Learning can affect maturation: can be absent or delayed without minimal level of input to learn from the outside world o Issues with speech, normal vision, motor and social skills can also result from this Arnav Agarwal 2011 - This perspective is important in understanding: inherited traits, prenatal development, nervous system development, etc. - Review: learning allows us to acquire new thoughts, behaviors and feelings. Module 3: Studying Development Introduction to Studying Development - Changes that occur earlier in life are much more dramatic than thos occurring later in life o These early-year changes play an especially important role in shaping who one becomes Habituation Procedure - Getting even the most basic response information from infants can be challenging when studying infants; they are pre-verbal - Four methods have been developed to get these responses - Habituation procedure: determines if an infant can detect the difference between two stimuli o Infants tend to show interest in novel objects in the environment o Repeatedly showing the same stimuli (ie: tone, picture) and measuring physiological responses (heart rate, breathing) and behavioral orienting responses (head, eye movements) to change  Showing same stimulus (initial reaction: burst of activity; returns to baseline levels); infant has demonstrated habituation (getting used to the stimuli) here  Habituation: a decrease in the responsiveness to a stimulus following it’s repeated presentation (infant recognizes it but doesn’t find it interesting or important)  When stimulus is changed, if the infant recognizes the change by distinguishing the new from the old, they are said to dishabituate and show another burst of physiological responses; if not, they do not dishabituate and stay baseline levels in responses (no change in response)  This procedure can be used for various stimuli (eg: sounds, pictures, touch sensations) to build a rich map of the newborn’s sensory world Arnav Agarwal 2011 Arnav Agarwal 2011 - Event-related procedure (neural measure coinciding with behavioral event): measure of the brain electrical activity evoked by the presentation of stimuli o Special cap with an array of electrodes is placed on the scalp o Electrodes detect changes in electric activity across a population of the brain’s neurons o Different brain regions will be evoked by different behaviors (eg: visual stimuli = occipital lobe, visual processing) - Habituation and event-related procedure: complementary behavioral and neural measures to understand an infant’s sensory interactions with the environment - High-amplitude sucking method: keeping in mind an infant can control their sucking behavior to some extent, a special pacifier is used to accurately measure it o First measure baseline sucking rate for the infant in the absence of relevant stimuli o Shaping procedure: infant is given control over stimulus being tested (eg: musical notes)  Faster sucking rate than base line -> pacifier switch activated -> stimulus presentation  Continually faster sucking rate -> stimulus presentation continues  Sucking stops/slows significantly -> infant does not like the sound -> stimulus presentation will stop Arnav Agarwal 2011 - Preference method: infant put in a looking chamber to simultaneously view two different stimuli o Direction of vision observed to analyze which stimuli gets more attention o Past results of this procedure: infants like big patterns with lots of black-white contrasts, and they like faces - Summary: o High-amplitude sucking: allows an infant to control the presentation of a stimulus to
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