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Introduction to Psychology II - Lecture 005

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

21 January 2013 CHAPTER 11: DEVELOPMENT There is uniqueness of the human infant because no other animal is born so helpless and so utterly dependent on its parents. A lot of physical development occurs prior to birth, and it continues until long thereafter. But perhaps as important is that the physical dependence sets the stage for social development that continues throughout the lifespan. A CUTE INTRODUCTORY STORY His mother called him Adi and showered him with affection, but his father was not so kind. Adi had a passion for the arts and his mother, contrarily to his father, who wanted him to become a civil servant, supported him and encouraged his gentler interest. Adi was 18 years old when his mother was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away and Adi was grief stricken. He moved to the city and applied for an art school but was flatly rejected. He was then motherless and penniless, wandering the streets for 5 long years desperately trying to sell his sketches. 10 years later he became famous and today his painting collections are paid significant sums of money for them. The curator of the collection once remarked, “I often looked at them and wondered, ‘What if? What if he had been accepted into art school? Would World War II have happened?’” Why would the curator ask such a question? Because while the artist’s mother called him Adi, the rest of us know him as Adolf Hitler. Developmental Psychology is the study of continuity and change across the life span. Cross-Sectional Approach is taking two groups and observes differences in abilities across them. Longitudinal Approach follows an individual at various points in time as they age. Longitudinal approaches are better because they allow you to follow the same individual and to escape things that may have changed across groups but cross sectional is much easier. PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT The Prenatal Stage of development ends with birth, but it begins 9 months earlier when about 200 million sperm begin a hazardous journey from a woman’s vagina, through her uterus, and on to her fallopian tubes (38 weeks of pregnancy). Zygote is a fertilized egg that contains chromosomes from both a sperm and an egg. From the first moment of its existence, a zygote has one thing in common with the person it will ultimately become: gender. Each human sperm cell and each human egg cell contain 23 chromosomes that contain genes, which provide the blueprint for all biological development. One of these chromosomes (the 23rd) can come in two variations: X or Y. Some sperm carry an X chromosome, others carry a Y chromosome. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm that carries a Y chromosome, then the zygote is male; if the egg is fertilized by a sperm that carries an X chromosome, the zygote is female.  Germinal Stage is a two week period that begins at conception o It is during this stage that the one-celled zygote begins to divide. The initial single begins cell dividing and differentiating, eventually forming 200 different kinds of cells (blood cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, bone cells) all with the same DNA o The zygote migrates back down the fallopian tube and implants itself in the wall of the uterus. About half of all zygotes do not complete it, either because they are defective or because they implant themselves in an inhospitable part of the uterus  Embryonic Stage is the period of prenatal development that lasts from the second week until about the eighth week. It begins when the zygote implants itself on the uterine wall (when it begins to look like a baby) o The zygote at this stage is known as an embryo o When the heart begins to beat at a critical stage with respect to the avoidance of teratogens (IE: Cocaine, tobacco, alcohol, and environmental toxins) o When sexual differentiation occurs. Embryos that have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome begin to produce a hormone called testosterone, which masculinises their reproductive organs, and embryos that have two X chromosomes do not. Without testosterone, the embryo continues developing as a female  Fetal Stage is a period that lasts from the ninth week until birth o The embryo at this stage is known as a fetus o When the skeleton and muscles that make it capable of movement begin to develop o The size of the fetus increases rapidly. It develops a layer of insulating fat beneath its skin, and its digestive and respiratory systems mature o The cells that ultimately become the brain divide very quickly and begin to generate axons and dendrites around the third and fourth week after conception, and this process is more or less complete by 6 months o Myelination, the formation of a fatty sheath around the axons of a neuron occurs Why are human beings born with such underdeveloped brains when other primates are not? The human brain has nearly tri
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