Chapter 9 Independent Questions.doc

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SOCI 200
Silvia Bartolic

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Chapter 9 Independent Questions I. Physical Changes A. Growth and Motor Development 1. In contrast to early childhood (2-6 year olds), elementary aged children (6-12 year olds) are more competent at large muscle activities like bike riding, which require both strength and speed. Note: I use the terms elementary-aged children and middle childhood interchangeably. (a) Hand-eye coordination enables school-aged children to perform activities that require the coordination of vision with body movements such as _____ or _______. shooting a basketball or playing a musical instrument (b) Identify the tasks/activities that elementary aged children would improve at as a result of their fine-motor coordination gains. Improvements in fine-motor coordination make writing possible, as well as the playing of most musical instruments, drawing, cutting, and many other tasks and activities. (c) Because of advanced skeletal and muscular maturation, what are girls (on average) slightly better at in comparison to boys? What are boys (on average) slightly better at than girls? girls to be better coordinated but slower and somewhat weaker than boys. Thus, girls outperform boys in activities requiring coordinated movement, and boys do better when strength and speed are advantages. B. The Brain and Nervous System 2. In middle childhood, there are two neurological growth spurts: one occurs between the ages of 6-8 and the other between the ages of 10-12. How do these two growth spurts differ with respect to: (a) The primary sites in the brain that are developing in each growth spurt The primary sites of brain growth during the first spurt are the sensory and motor areas. Growth in these areas may be linked to the striking improvements in fine-motor skills and eye– hand coordination that usually occur between 6 and 8. (b) The associated advances that would be experienced in each growth spurt selective attention. Predictably, the areas of the brain that govern logic and planning, two cognitive func- tions that improve dramatically during this period, are located primarily in the frontal lobes. 3. In early childhood (chapter 7), the neurons of the reticular formation are myelinized and associated with gains in attention. (a) How is myelinization of the reticular formation slightly different in middle childhood? These connections are essential if the child is to be able to take full advantage of improvements in frontal lobe functions because, as you may recall, the reticular formation controls attention. It is well documented that the ability to control attention increases significantly during middle childhood Difference between attention in early childhood and selective attentionin middle childhood (b) How does this neurological change affect the skill of attention? Selective attention 4. The neurons of the association areas are somewhat myelinized before middle childhood but are completely myelinized by the end of middle childhood. What cognitive gains do neurologists believe are related to developments in the association areas of the brain? Neuroscientists believe that this advance in the myelinization process contributes to increases in information-processing speed. E.g. Rapidly identifying objects ____________________________________________________________________________ Notes to Study (targeted in the multiple-choice questions on midterm#2): Because the cortex of the human brain is relatively large in size, it is typically divided into several parts along the basis of the different functions of these parts. For instance, the cortex is often divided into the following three parts/functions: 1. Sensory areas – the part of the brain that enables us to make sense of the information we receive from our five senses 2. Motor areas – the part of the brain that enables us to control voluntary movements 3. Association areas – the part of the brain that enables us to make connections or “associations” between the information we receive from the four brain lobes or four geographical areas of the brain. • The occipital, temporal, and parietal lobes are involved in perceiving information from our senses and language. • The frontal lobe is involved in planning, logic and abstract thought. The pre-frontal cortex (a subpart of the frontal cortex) is the area of the brain most closely associated with the information-processing concept of ‘executive control strategies’. o The pre-frontal cortex relates to the following abilities:  To tolerate and make sense of complex and conflicting ideas/classification systems which don’t have a single correct answer  To work towards a defined goal and inhibit non-goal-directed actions  To predict future outcomes of behaviour/events  To display social control and emotional regulation of one’s own behaviour (ability to suppress: (1) urges/ impulses, (2) desire for immediate rewards – also referred to as the ability to delay gratification) ____________________________________________________________________________ 5. (a) Although some brain functions are lateralized in early childhood (chapter 7), what brain function is lateralized in the right hemisphere of the brain during middle childhood? (This brain function is included in Figure 7.2 in chapter 7 – see p. 195.) with the lateralization of spatial perception, the ability to identify and act on relationships between objects in space. (b) Neuroscientists measure the degree of lateralization in the brain function you identified in 5a by a relative right-left orientation task. What is the relative right-left orientation task? the ability to identify right and left from multiple perspectives. Such a test usually shows that most children younger than 8 know the difference between their own right and left. Typically, though, only children older than 8 understand the difference between statements like “It’s on your right” and “It’s on my right.” (c) How might external factors (nurture) contribute to the lateralization of the brain function you identified in 5a? this function lateralizes much more slowly in blind children than in those who have sight. Thus, it appears that visual expe- rience plays an important role in this aspect of brain development. Note: Spatial perception is one component of the more general concept of spatial cognition – use these terms interchangeably for the purposes of answering this question. C. Health Promotion and Wellness In comparison to early childhood, there are less careless accidents or unintentional injuries in middle childhood. However, in contrast to early childhood, obesity emerges as a concern in middle childhood. Although obesity is a significant health problem in middle childhood, eating disorders and body image issues are more prevalent in adolescence. This is discussed in chapter 11. II. Cognitive Changes A. Language 6. (a) What language advances related to grammar and speaking skills are common in the period of middle childhood? During middle childhood, children become skilled at managing the finer points of grammar. For example, by the end of middle child- hood, most children understand various ways of saying something about the past, such as “I went,” “I was going,” “I have gone,” “I had gone,” “I had been going,” and so on. Moreover, they correctly use such tenses in their own speech. Across the middle childhood years, children also learn how to maintain the topic of conversation, how to create unambiguous sentences, and how to speak politely or persuasively Between 6 and 12, children also continue to add new vocabulary at a fairly aston- ishing rate of from 5000 to 10 000 words per year. (b) Vocabulary gains are in part due to children’s knowledge of derived words. What are derived words? words that have a basic root to which some prefix or suffix is added, such as “happily” or “unwanted.” B. Piaget’s Concrete Operational Stage (see lecture notes) C. Direct Tests of Piaget’s View (see lecture notes) D. Advances in Information-Processing Skills Piaget argued that the acquisition of mental operations such as sequential ordering, hierarchical inclusion and conservation resulted in qualitative cognitive changes in middle childhood. The information-processing theory believes that the cognitive gains in middle childhood are due to hardware and software upgrades. The questions in this section describe these hardware and software upgrades. Processing Efficiency 7. What area of the brain is associated with increases in processing speed? (Note that the answer to this question is from an earlier independent question in this chapter.) Association areas Automaticity 8. (a) Define automaticity the ability to recall info
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