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Introduction to Development, Prenatal Development, and the Newborn.docx

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PSYC 1000
Anneke Olthof

Introduction to Development, Prenatal Development, and the Newborn Major Issues in Developmental Psychology • Development ➡ Refers to the continuities and changes that occur within the individual between conception and death • Nature and Nurture • Change and stability • Continuity versus stages Prenatal Development Begins with conception: • ➡ Sperm and egg unite to bring genetic material together to form one organism ➡ The fertilized egg is called the zygote • The Zygote Stage: First 10 to 14 days ➡ From conception to implantation ➡ Cell division occurs at an exponential rate Cells already being to differentiate into specialized structures and ➡ locations • The embryonic Stage: Weeks 2 to 8 ➡ Period when most vital organs are formed (Thus a period of vulnerability) ➡ Cell differentiation continues as cells develop into organs and bones • The Fetal Stage: Week 9 to birth ➡ State of growth and refinement in all existing organs •3 months: Smile and frown •6 months: eyes are open and can hear 9 months: rapid increase in weight • ➡ Age of viability: by 6 months may be able to survive outside the room Things that could go wrong • ➡ Genetic problems •Chromosomal abnormalities (Down syndrome) ➡ Environmental problems •Exposure to teratogens (drugs, disease, pollution) ➡ Maternal characteristics •Age •Overall health and self-care Brain Development • At birth, 25% of adult weight • At 6 months, 50% of adult weight • Cells become larger, neural networks form • Growth rate slows in later childhood • The brain grows from the inside-out ➡ At birth, brainstem and midbrain are the most developed ➡ First areas of cerebrum to mature •Primary sensory cortex •Primary motor cortex ➡ Last areas are the associative areas of the cortex (attention, thinking, memory) How to Measure Infant Behavior • Can’t just ask an infant how they experience the world • Competence-performance distinction ➡ An individual may fail a task not because they lack those abilities, but because they were unable to show those abilities • Habituation Procedure ➡ Used to determine if the infant can detect the difference between two
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