PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Philtrum, Preterm Birth

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15 Nov 2017
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Lifespan Development (Prenatal Childhood)
Sequence of age-related changes (4 Broad periods)
1. Prenatal
2. Childhood
3. Adolescence
4. Adulthood
Examination of physical, cognitive & Social development across lifespan
Physical: Any biological changes that occur over time
Cognitive: Anything related to thinking (problem solving, judgement, logic, etc.)
Social: Inner personal relationships (Initiating and maintaining relationships)
Nature vs. Nurture
Nature: Genetic; inborn characteristics vs. Nurture: Environmental
Continuity vs. Stages
Continuity: Gradual, procedural changes vs. Stages: Abruptly progressing discrete
periods
Stability (Persistent traits) & Changes (Continually changing characteristics; “Evolution”)
CONSIDERATIONS:
Post Hoc Fallacy: Easy in retrospect to say why something happened (Monday
morning Quarterback duh if they hadn’t one that they wouldn’t have lost)
Bidirectional Influences: Can’t tell which one caused the other, or which one
came first
Cohort Effects: Generational differences (Society, economy, technology, culture,
norms, etc. change)
Early Experiences: What happens early in a person’s childhood can affect them
(Kids are more resilient than people think. Don’t jump to conclusions.)
PRENATAL:
Conception: Women are born with all the eggs they’ll have. Men continue to
produce sperm throughout life. (That’s why there can be problems when women are
older) (it’s not the man’s fault entirely)
Zygote: Fertilized egg- cells begin to divide and multiply
10 days after conception attaches to uterine wall
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Inner cells become embryo Outer cells become placenta (HIGHLY
VULNERABLE)
Embryonic Stage: 2 weeks after conception until end of month #2 (Organs and
bones begin to develop)
Fetal Stage: 9 weeks after conception now considered a fetus
Potential problems: Premature birth (less than 36 weeks) (as early as 25
weeks = viability (hospitalized, or bed rest)); Genetic Disorders; Environmental factors
Environmental factors: Drug (legal of illicit) use during pregnancy
(thalidomide, alcohol [Fetal Alcohol Syndrome] = {smaller eye opening; smooth philtrum;
thin upper lip; lifelong brain injuries}, tobacco); maternal illness; maternal malnutrition
TERATOGENS- Any external agent, such as drugs or
viruses, that can harm the embryo or fetus
4 months- facial features become defined; rapid body growth and
differentiation of cells (23-26 weeks = threshold of viability)
BIRTH NEWBORNS: Born with reflexes to aid survival: withdraw from pain, move
face if breathing obstructed, root nipple, swallow milk
Seek Social stimulation & mom’s scent and voice imprinted neural
At 1 hour old they will look twice as long at the picture that looks like a face than
an upside down one.
Physical Development Infancy & Childhood
In the womb, develop 750,000 new neurons per minute in the middle trimester
At birth the connections among neurons develop form more branches and
more neural networks with learning
In infancy, the growth in neural connections take place initially in the less
complex parts of the brain (the brainstem and limbic system), as well as the motor and
sensory strips
In early childhood, neural connections proliferate in the association areas
(enables advancements in controlling attention and behavior)
Age 3-6 years: most rapid brain growth is in frontal lobes; rational planning
abilities, thus abilities to control behavior and attention; frontal lobe development
continues beyond adolescence
Associational areas of brain develop last (thinking, memory, and language)
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