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Lecture 9

PSYCO105 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Sex Organ, Basal Metabolic Rate, Prefrontal Cortex
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6 Pages
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Fall 2017

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCO105
Professor
Davina Rousell
Lecture
9

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Adolescence and adulthood
- Rites of passage mark transition from childhood into adulthood
- Adolescence period of development and gradual transition between childhood and
adulthood
- Puberty is different from adolescence, it’s a period of rapid physical maturation in which
the period becomes capable of sexual reproduction (biologically defined), adolescence is
a social construction
- Physical development
- Young adulthood 20 to 40 years of age
- Middle adulthood roughly ones 40s through early 60s
- Late adulthood (approximately age 65 and older)
Puberty
- Body changes, brains hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to increase its hormonal
secretions
- Pituitary hormones stimulate other glands, speeding up maturation of the primary sex
characteristics (sex organs for reproduction)
- Hormonal changes also produce secondary sex characteristics (nonreproductive physical
features such as breast in girls and facial hair in boys)
- Puberty landmark in girls is menarche, the first menstrual flow
- For boys it’s the production of sperm and first ejaculation
- Events occur most often in girls from age 11 to 13, for boys 12 to 14
- Hormones can affect mood and behavior
- Early maturation in boys heightened risk for engaging in delinquent behavior and using
drugs, but physical strength and size that they acquire often contributes to positive
body image
- In contrast, some early maturing girls like their changed appearance, the weight gain
comes with puberty, resulting in negative body image
- Early maturation may expose girls to greater social and sexual pressures that they are
not ready for emotionally
- Thus, with girls who mature later, early-maturing girls typically develop more sefl-
conscious about their bodies, and more likely to develop eating disorders, problems in
school, major depression and anxiety
The adolescent brain
- Brain growth slows from after childhood to adolescence
- Establishes new neural connections at the same time getting rid of massive synaptic
connections, allows for more efficient communication between brain regions
- Neural restructuring prominent in prefrontal cortex and the limbic system, regions play
a key role in planning and coordinating behaviours that satisfy motivational goals,
emotional urges and moral decisions
Physical development in adulthood
- Young adults at the peak of their physical, sexual and perceptual functioning
- Maximum strength in legs, arms and other parts of the body is reached at age 25 to 30
- Vision, hearing, reaction time and coordination are at peak levels In the mid 20s
- Physical status declines at mid-life
- Ex. Visual expanded fields in the first six months of life begins to shrink in the 20s and by
late adulthood this is a tunnel vision
- During middle adulthood, muscles become weaker and stiffer
- After age 40, the basal metabolic rate, rate at which the resting body converts food into
energy, slows and this produces a tendency to gain weight
- Efficiency of oxygen decreases, harder for middle aged adults to maintain the physical
endurance needed for sustained exercise
- Around 50, womens ovaries stop producing estrogen, lose fertility and experience
menopause, end of menstruation, men’s fertility decreases
- Despite decline, middle-aged adults are in excellent health and are vigorously active
- Physical changes of middle adulthood become more pronounced in late adulthood
- Lean body mass decreases, while amount of fatty tissue tends to increase, bones loses
calcium,becoming more brittle and slower to heal, and hardened ligaments make
movements stiffer and slower
- But with regular exercise, good nutrition and right attitude, can maintain active lifestyle
into old age
The adult brain
- During early years of adulthood, brain’s neural networks generally continue to become
more efficiently integrated
- But like other parts of the body, the brain declines later in adulthood
- Susan Resnick and colleagues used MRI to measure loss of brain tissue among men and
women over 4 year period, were between ages 59 to 85 years old, and none of them
had cognitive impairments, on average, they lost tissue at a rate of 5.4% per year, with
frontal and parietal lobes showing greatest loss, the more healthier, the lesser the loss,
but tissue loss is still normal as we age
Cognitive development
- Cognitive changes during adolescence can be dramatic
- A lot of thinking reflects adolescent egocentrism, a self-absorbed and distorted view of
one’s uniqueness and importance
- Elkind proposed that adolescent egocentrism has two main parts
- First adolescent often overestimate the uniqueness of their feelings and experiences
which is called personal fable, ex. “Nobody’s ever felt love as deeply as ours”
- Second, many adolescents feel that they are always “on stage” and that “everybody’s
going to notice” how they look and what they do, she calls this sensitivity to social
evaluation, the imaginary audience
- Adolescents who think more egocentrically, are somewhat more likely to engage in risky
behaviours

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Description
Adolescence and adulthood - Rites of passage mark transition from childhood into adulthood - Adolescence period of development and gradual transition between childhood and adulthood - Puberty is different from adolescence, its a period of rapid physical maturation in which the period becomes capable of sexual reproduction (biologically defined), adolescence is a social construction - Physical development - Young adulthood 20 to 40 years of age - Middle adulthood roughly ones 40s through early 60s - Late adulthood (approximately age 65 and older) Puberty - Body changes, brains hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to increase its hormonal secretions - Pituitary hormones stimulate other glands, speeding up maturation of the primary sex characteristics (sex organs for reproduction) - Hormonal changes also produce secondary sex characteristics (nonreproductive physical features such as breast in girls and facial hair in boys) - Puberty landmark in girls is menarche, the first menstrual flow - For boys its the production of sperm and first ejaculation - Events occur most often in girls from age 11 to 13, for boys 12 to 14 - Hormones can affect mood and behavior - Early maturation in boys heightened risk for engaging in delinquent behavior and using drugs, but physical strength and size that they acquire often contributes to positive body image - In contrast, some early maturing girls like their changed appearance, the weight gain comes with puberty, resulting in negative body image - Early maturation may expose girls to greater social and sexual pressures that they are not ready for emotionally - Thus, with girls who mature later, early-maturing girls typically develop more sefl- conscious about their bodies, and more likely to develop eating disorders, problems in school, major depression and anxiety The adolescent brain - Brain growth slows from after childhood to adolescence - Establishes new neural connections at the same time getting rid of massive synaptic connections, allows for more efficient communication between brain regions - Neural restructuring prominent in prefrontal cortex and the limbic system, regions play a key role in planning and coordinating behaviours that satisfy motivational goals, emotional urges and moral decisions Physical development in adulthood- Young adults at the peak of their physical, sexual and perceptual functioning - Maximum strength in legs, arms and other parts of the body is reached at age 25 to 30 - Vision, hearing, reaction time and coordination are at peak levels In the mid 20s - Physical status declines at mid-life - Ex. Visual expanded fields in the first six months of life begins to shrink in the 20s and by late adulthood this is a tunnel vision - During middle adulthood, muscles become weaker and stiffer - After age 40, the basal metabolic rate, rate at which the resting body converts food into energy, slows and this produces a tendency to gain weight - Efficiency of oxygen decreases, harder for middle aged adults to maintain the physical endurance needed for sustained exercise - Around 50, womens ovaries stop producing estrogen, lose fertility and experience menopause, end of menstruation, mens fertility decreases - Despite decline, middle-aged adults are in excellent health and are vigorously active - Physical changes of middle adulthood become more pronounced in late adulthood - Lean body mass decreases, while amount of fatty tissue tends to increase, bones loses calcium,becoming more brittle and slower to heal, and hardened ligaments make movements stiffer and slower - But with regular exercise, good nutrition and right attitude, can maintain active lifestyle
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