PSY 150A1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Autism Spectrum, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Hypotonia

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Ch. 12 Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology
o Branch of psychology that studies physical, cognitive, emotional
& social change across the life span
3 stages of prenatal development
o 1. Zygote: fertilized egg
23 pairs of chromosomes; ½ of each pair from egg (X), ½
from sperm (X or Y)
XX = female
XY = male
By week 1 about 100 cells
Cellular differentiation
By 10-14 days: zygote attaches to uterine wall
Outer layer placenta
Inner layer embryo
o 2. Embryo: weeks 2-8
major axis of body forms
1st signs of organ development: heart begins to beat
o 3. Fetus: 9 weeks birth
by 6th month: organs developed enough to (Possibly)
survive premature birth
sensitive to both light and sound
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The learning fetus
o DeCasper & Fifer: read cat in the hat aloud 2x daily for 6 weeks
before giving birth
o Immediately after birth: babies given headphones, pacifier-like
device
o “peed of paifier sukig = hearig o’s oie s. aother
women
Chose speed that produed o’s oie
Chose speed that produed o’s at i the hat s.
another story
Threats to Prenatal Development
o Environmental threats
Teratogen: agent that causes birth defects
Ex. Hormones
o Cortisol: stress hormone
o High cortisol levels during pregnancy growth
genes operate slower
Ex. Viruses
Ex. Radiation
Ex. Drug use
o Nicotine lower birth weight, greater risk of
SIDS
o Alcohol fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual
disability, memory/attention, stunted growth,
facial abnormalities
o Genetic
Down syndrome: caused by 3rd copy of 21st chromosome
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Heart/eye/ear, sleep apnea, poor muscle tone, short
limbs, facial abnormalities, intellectual disability, 1 in 800-
1000 births
The Newborn
o Traditional view incompetent, confused passive beings
o Modern view active, engaged beings from birth
o Brain development
Prenatal: neuron development
At peak, 250,000 new neurons per minute
Newborns & children: neural connections
Development of neural networks
Adolescence: pruning process of neural connections
Childhood cognitive development
o Jean Piaget
Children as active thinkers, trying to understand
experiences develop schemas
Schemas: concept that helps organize and interpret
info
Schema development
o Assimilation: interpreting new experiences in terms of existing
schemas
o Accommodation: adapting schemas to incorporate new info
Jea Piaget’s “tage Model
o Assimilation & accommodation schema development
o Drives children through 4 stages of cognitive development
Simple & tangible abstract & conceptual
o
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