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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Infant Reflexes/ Sensation and Perception

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Elizabeth Johnson

PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 4 – January 28, 2014 Infant Reflexes - Reflex: an involuntary response to external stimulation (page 118) - Permanent o Eye blink  Response strong throughout life o Withdrawal reflex  Absence indicates Sciatic Nerve damage - Temporary (seen in certain stages of development) Temporary - Babinski o Absence indicates lower spine deficits. o Disappears near end of first year - Moro (Startle Reflex) o To initiate this is to lean the baby’s head back, and also yell a little o They don’t necessarily have to be awake for this to happen, it can be during sleep o Absence indicates CNS deficits o Disappears around 6-7 months - Palmar Grasp o Absence indicates depression o Disappears between 3 and 4 months - Plantar (Toe grasp) o If you press on the ball of a baby’s foot, they will perform a grasping action o Absence indicates lower spine deficits o Disappears between 8 and 12 months - Rooting o Stroke the cheek of a babe, they will turn towards where you are stroking, and they will try to suck o Absence indicates depression o Disappears between 3 and 4 months - Stepping o If you hold a baby up where their feet are right above the ground, they will move their legs in a walking movement o Absence indicate depression o Disappears between 3 and 4 months - Sucking o May be initially weakened in babies whose mothers were medicated during childbirth (pain killers, birth control) o Useful for breastfeeding o If you put your finger in their mouth, they will automatically suck, which is a good sign o Disappears by 6 months Summary - The newborn has a repertoire of reflexes which are involuntary responses to external stimuli - Many of these reflexes have obvious value in helping the newborn survive - Many disappear during the first year of life PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 4 – January 28, 2014 - Tests of reflexes may be combined with other assessments to gauge the health, maturity, and capacities of a new born o Often used just to make sure the child is developing properly What does a newborn do all day? - Two major states: o Sleeping (70% of the time) o Crying - Time spent in these states changes over course of development Sleeping - Co-sleeping is controversial in N. America, but may reduce SIDS - Infant sleep is different than adult sleep - Newborns spend considerably more time in REM sleep o Autostimulation theory: increases REM sleep required for brain development Crying - Three types of cries: o Basic o Angry o Pain - As infant ages, crying becomes less about physiological needs more about psychological needs - Crying declines greatly during first year Moving/Growing Moving - Motor development: o Sequence the same across infants, timing varies o Both maturation and experience play a role in motor development Major Motor Milestones - 0-2 months: not a lot of motor skills, but you will see their chin up - 2-5 months: roll over stage - 5-8 months: child can sit without stage - 5-10 months: child will stand while holding a table - 6-10 months: kids starting to pull themselves up - 10-14 months: kids will start standing on their own - 14-22 months: children walking up the stairs - These are good indicates of development Fine Motor Skills Development - Voluntary reaching o Grasps reflex and pre-reaching  Birth to 2 months o Voluntary  3 months + - Manipulatory skills o Two-handed grasp and ulnar grasp  4-5 months PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 4 – January 28, 2014 o Pincer grasp  End of first year Maturation vs. Experience - What drives the development of motor abilities? o Maturational Viewpoint:  Unfolding of a genetically programmed series of events o Experiential Viewpoint:  Opportunities to practice are important  There are cultures where they routinely have walking exercises for children  children in this culture tend to walk 3-5 weeks earlier  There are cultures were children are held by their mothers more often, and walker later on Physical Growth - The portion of the head is shrinking - The legs get longer as the baby grows - At birth, the newborns head is already 70% of its entire size - Changes in Height and Weight o Rapid growth in first 2 years o Growth slows until spurt in puberty (girls hit puberty before boys) Onset of Puberty - What determines the Timing of puberty? - Factors contributing to the onset of puberty: o Genetic influences o Athletic training o Parent-child relationships  Agirl who doesn’t live with her father will probably hit puberty before a girl living with her father o Stress Height & Weight - Reasons for increased height and weight: o Health and nutrition have improved in many countries o Socioeconomic conditions have improved - Obesity epidemic o Obesity: an individual’s weight is at least 20% in excess of average weight for their height and frame o Obesity has been on the rise in NorthAmerican children for many years o Most Canadian children are inactive and overweight  Linked to increasing caloric intake patterns • Genetic factors play a crucial role • Education and income levels • Modeling by others o Obesity linked to many health problems Sensation & Perception - Some species are sensitive to perceptual information out of our range (example: dogs) - Other species pick up types of information that humans simply don’t use (example homing pigeons appear to use magnetic fields to navigate) PSY210H5 – Introduction to Developmental Psychology Lecture 4 – January 28, 2014 - Human perception also changes across lifespan - Sensation: Detection of stimuli by the sensory receptors - Perception: The interpretation of sensations in order to make them meaningful (p. 129) - Attention: Selection of particular sensory input for perceptual or cognitive processing and the exclusion of competing input - How to unlock the mysteries of sensation, perception, and attention in young infants and toddlers o Preferential behaviours o Habituation o Operant conditioning Touch - Both fetus and newborn display reflexive behaviour in response to tactile stimulation - Premature infants benefit from message - Newborns ten to be alert/active when a bit cool and sleepy/relaxed when a bit warm - Newborns display distress response to discomfort - Physically painful experiences o Taddio et al. (1997)  Male infants’memory for pain of circumcision  Dependent variable: response to vaccination at 4-6 months  Independent variable: was infant circumcised with or without anesthetic  Result: infants circumcised without anesthetic displayed more intense pain response o High-pitches cries, increases in heart rate and blood pressure o Memory for painful experiences?  Example: developing a fear for anyone in a doctors office, or wearing doctors coat because of the painful experience from always receiving needles from this person who you assumed was really nice Olfaction - Fetus able to experience smell sensation around 28 weeks gestation (before birth) o Prior to 28 weeks, the nose of the fetus is filled with tissue, and once the nose is free, they will then have olfactory experiences - Mother’s diet during pregnancy shapes
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