Chapter Three: Cognitive and Language Development

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
Warren Bluemfeld

Educational Psychology, Lecture on September 10th Chapter Three: Cognitive and Language Development Dendrites receive signals / Axons send and carry on these signals. Plasticity, the brain is easily adaptable. Pruning, when unused brain cells are discarded. Lateralization, how one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body. Specialization, how different parts of the brain control different functions. The Limbic system is the area of the brain that regulated emotion and memory. Directly connects the lower and higher brain functions. The brainstem controls life’s basic functions, breathing, heart rate, swolling, sleep, balance, etc. Divided into three sections: The cerebellum is connected to the brainstem, and is the center for body movement and balance. Human brain: Cortex,  largest brain component.  develops the slowest. Frontal lobe,  responsible for reasoning, planning, controlling impulses - may still develop into early 20s.  multiple parts of the brain are involved in most activities and work together. Brain lateralization:  Left brain controls ride side of the body and vice versa.  left brain/right brain approaches are not supported by research. Neuroplasticity:  people of all ages continue to form new synapses as they develop new experiences. Cognitive development: Types of change, 1.'Physical, body structures and functions. 2. Personal, personality. 3. Social, ways we relate to others. 4 Cognitive, mental processes. Cognitive development refers to,  changes in how people remember what they see and hear.  Think about problems they encounter.  Predict what might happen in the future.  Comprehend what they read.  Understand the similarities and differences between objects and ideas.  Create solutions for problems. Jean Piaget,  Swiss cognitive developmental psychologist.  qualitative stage model of development. o stages are vastly different from one another.  major impact on the way we think about children's development.  early constructivist theorist: o a student-centered educational method emphasizing the active role of the learner, whereby students "construct" or build understanding making sense of the information, and utilizing problem-solving skills.  cognitive development follows predictable sequence based on biological maturation and life experience. Schema (Piaget),  mental systems or categories of organized information. When faced with new information,  Assimilation: mold new information to fit existing schemas.  Accommodation: change existing schemas to fit new information. Steps in cognitive development, 1. Encounter new information. 2. Enrich or expand schemata with this new information, and assimilate with present knowledge. 3. Upset cognitive balance, “disequilibrium.” 4. Alter schemata to accommodate new information, restore cognitive balance or “equilibrium.” Piaget's stages of cognitive development, Sensorimotor (birth-2 years) "the Active child"  learns though the five senses.  move from reflex to goal directed actions.  imitate, memorize, think.  recognize object permanence. Preoperational (2-7years)  operations: actions a person carries out by thinking them through rather than literally performing the actions.  semiotic function (using language and thinking symbolically).  difficulty seeing another's point of view.  think operations through in only direction.  thinking is limited by egocentrism, centration (tendency to focus on only one part of something rather than the whole), conservation, animism (cannot distinguish between animate and inanimate objects). Concrete operational (7-11
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