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Lecture 1

46-423 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Cognitive Development, Synaptogenesis

Course Code
PSYC 4230
Kim Babb

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Sept 10, 2015
Nature vs. Nurture
Nature: Development is determined by genetic or biological
Nurture: Development is determined by experience or
environmental factors
Continuous vs. Discontinuous Development
Continuous Development: Development is a cumulative process
of adding on more of the same types of skills that were there to
begin with
Discontinuous Development: Development re$ects new and
di%erent ways of interpreting and responding to the world that
emerge at particular time periods
Dynamic Systems Approach
Cognitive development results from continuous and bidirectional
interactions between aspects of the developing child
Self-Organizing: Certain combinations of factors interact
together on their own and results in patterns of behavior that we
can observe
Domain-General vs. Domain-speci)c
Domain-General: Children’s thinking is in$uenced by a set of single
factors that impact areas of thought equally
oIncreased memory
oIncreased speed of processing
Domain-Specic: Di%erent cognitive domains are controlled by
di%erent brain functions/areas; modularity
oNon-homogeneity of cognitive skills
oProdigies and savants
oLanguage areas of the brain
Stability vs Plasticity
Stability: the extent to which cognitive functions are resistant to
Plasticity: the extent to which cognitive functions can be shaped
through experience
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