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Lecture 2

Week 2 - The Issue of Development

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PSYC 4010
Scott Adler

- An innate or nativistic view can be 2 forms: o 1) preformed o 2) predetermined - Innate view cannot account for great variability and change in behaviour o We have averages, but there are a lot of differences among individuals o 96% infants follow the time course of rolling over, getting up on hands, pushing off, crawling, standing and holding on, standing without holding, then walking o If it is really innate, why is there variability if it is determined by our genetics? o Pure innate view can never deal with this issue - In contrast, a pure learning or experimental view fails to recognize that it functions on non-programmed set of neural elements o We are born with a set of neurals that are put by genetics o It works on some structure that are put into place by biology, which limits us on things we can or cannot do  Ex: we can never see inferat light no matter the amount of exposure o our neural or apparatus don’t allow some things to process o there cannot be a pure learning view - Innate and learned are not mutually exclusive o Instead they are extremes along a continuum o Ex: all learning is conducted by mechanisms that are currently innate and were acquired through evolution o Info we learned may be determined by the environment o Mechanisms that allow you to learn are likely to be innate (brain, apparatus, ears, eyes…) o Our perceptual system through evolution to process info in a very specific way (shades, light) o Appistrammas fish – their innate mechanism is to think black and yellow as mom - The genome (our genetics) contains blueprint of perceptive mechanisms that respond to certain combinations of stimuli and relays a message o Our genetics have perceptual mechanisms that respond to certain types of characteristics/stimuli o Ex: Lorenz’s chicks – when it gets movement when it is born, it means mom o In order for mechanisms to be activated, it requires certain environmental input o It is always a combination of two (bidrecetion relation) - Definition of innate o It is that which is not only what is not learned, but what must be in existence before learning to make learning possible o Based on anything that needs to exist before learning occurs, and which enables learning to occur o INNATE = anything that is available or genetically determined that allows learning to occur o We cant understand learning or experience without also understanding innate mechanisms that allow that learning to occur o Ex: in language – there is some language production that is innate – BABBLING (6 months)  All infants do it – even deaf infants (do not need environmental inputs)  Babbling is a type of facilitation – it happens whether you have input or not, but you need that input to start it off earlier o Ex: in language – grammar – requires innate mechanism of babbling in order to learn, it requires that ability to get that experience - However, knowing something is innate, does not t
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