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Human Growth & Motor Development Exam Review

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Health Science
HLSC 2401U
Meghan Lloyd

Growth & Development Exam Review Notes Lecture One: Motor Development  What is Motor Development? o The change in motor behavior over the lifespan and the processes that underlie the change o Dynamic Processes in which a motor behavior emerges from the many constraints that surround the behavior o A continuous interplay between the organism and their environment, each influencing each other  Fundamental Concepts o Motor Learning  Relatively permanent gains in motor skill capability associated with practice or experience (not related to age) o Motor Control  The neural, physical, and behavioral aspects of movement o Physical Growth  Quantitative increase in size or body mass o Aging  Process occurring with passage of time, leading to loss of adaptability or full function and eventually to death o Constraints  Limit or discourage certain movements while permitting or encouraging other movements  “Shape” movement  Structural Constraints  Related to the body’s structure o Height o Mass  Functional Constraints  Related to behavioral function o Attention o Motivation  Environmental Constraints  Outside the body  Properties of the world around us  Global, not task specific  Task Constraints  External to the body  Related to the tasks or skills o Universality  Individuals in a species show similarity in development o Variability  Individual differences exist 1  Early Philosopher Views of Child Development o Plato and Aristotle believed that the long term welfare of society depended on children being raised properly, but they differed in their approaches o Plato  Emphasized self control and discipline  Believed that children are born with innate knowledge o Aristotle  Was concerned with fitting child rearing to the needs of the individual child  Believed that knowledge comes from experience  Later Philosophers o John Locke  Saw the child as a Tabula Rasa, and advocated first instilling discipline, then gradually increasing the child’s freedom o Jean Jacques Rousseau  Argued that parents and society should give the child maximum freedom from the beginning  The Emergence of Child Development as a Discipline o Sigmund Freud and John Watson formulated influential theories of development during this period o Sigmund Freud  Concluded that biological drives exerted a crucial influence on development o Watson  Argued that children’s behavior arises largely from rewards and punishments that follow particular behaviors  Nature & Nurture o Nature  Our biological endowment, especially from genes that we receive from our parents o Nurture  The wide range of environments, both physical and social, that influence our development 2  The Active Child o Children contribute to their own development from early in life and their contributions increase as they grow older o Three most important contributions are:  Attention patterns  Use of Language  Play o Older children and adolescents choose many environments, friends, and activities for themselves; their choices can exert a large impact on their future  Continuity/Discontinuity o Continuous Development  Age related changes occur gradually o Discontinuous Development  Age related changes include occasional large shifts so that children of different ages seem qualitatively different  The Sociocultural Context o Sociocultural Context  Refers to the physical, social, cultural, economic, and historical circumstances that make up any child’s environment o Development is affected by ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status  Individual Differences o Individual differences among children arise very quickly in development o Children’s genes, their treatment by other people, their subjective reactions to other people’s treatment of them, and their choice of environments all contribute to differences among children, even those within the same family 3 Lecture Two: Theoretical Perspectives to Motor Development  History of Motor Development o Mary Shirley  Outlined the sequence of motor milestones  Longitudinally followed 25 infants  Maturationist o Myrtle McGraw  Performed a twin study of Johnny and Jimmy  Studies demonstrated that early stimulation accelerates motor development  Allowing infants to learn challenging skills, such as swimming and roller skating, and to solve problems that require judgment and deliberation  One of the first to say that development wasn’t pre – determined by genes  Complex interaction of the brain, genes, and environment  Although training had some effects of the quality and initial performance of Johnny’s movements, in the long run, intensive training did not make a big difference  Emphasized the roles of maturation  Cannot separate learning versus maturation o Arnold Gessel  Correlation between the development of movement patterns and corresponding changes in the nervous system  Development was a morphological process  Principles of growth and development were the same for all species  Behavior changes followed biologically driven neural maturation  Movements were a product of the nervous system  Principle of Developmental Direction  Head to Tail direction  Proximal to Distal 4 o Bernstein  The developmental course of the nervous system may be modeled by the nature of the body and how it moves  The human body has hundred of bones, muscles, nerves, ligaments, etc…  How does it know what to use in any given situation?  Synergies  Brain doesn’t recruit individual muscle fibres. It recruits based on the functional requirements of the task.  Your signature for example  The motor system is assembled for function AND exploits the mechanical properties of the body  Some movements don’t require muscle activation o How is this possible?  Actions must be planned at a very abstract level  There has to be great flexibility to meet the demands of the task and the continually changing environment  The Neuronal Group Selection Theory (Edelman) o The assembly of cortical and sub – cortical systems are dynamically organized into adaptable networks, the structure and function of which are selected by development and behavior o During development, neuronal circuits are not precisely wired at the level of micro – anatomy; the brain contains repertoires of variant circuits that can give rise to many different outputs  Appropriate connections depend not only on activity in the afferent pathways but also on a proper balance between those outputs  Activity dependent refinement of connections is important  SELECTION is the primary developmental mechanism o Adaptive behavior emerges as the recurrent perceiving and acting in the world strengthens particular neural networks such that patterns are progressively selected from many wider possibilities o Functional mapping of the brain is experience dependent, especially through perceptual – motor exploration  Plasticity o Neural networks supporting perceptual, motor, and cognitive processes are widely and densely interconnected 5  The Gibsons o We perceive information that enables us to functionally act within it o Perception and action are mutually coupled o Affordances  The functional utility of particular environmental objects taken with reference to the perceiver and their action capabilities  Perception and movement are linked  Movement is mediated by the perception of affordances  An affordance of an object is determined by the properties of its substance (texture) and its surface (shape, size) o The Gibsons believe that the organism seeks this information through perceptual systems that have evolved for this purpose. o Exploration is an important force for developmental change o Crawling Infants  Crossed both a rigid surface and a waterbed without hesitation o Toddlers (Walking)  Hesitated and explored the surface of the waterbed and shifted to crawling, rather than walking. o Adaptive behavior emerges as the recurrent perceiving and acting in
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