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PSYA01H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Preterm Birth, Prenatal Development

Course Code
Steve Joordens
Study Guide

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Midterm Notes Chapter 12 Lifespan Development
Cross-sectional study: study of development in which individuals of different ages are
compared at the same time
Longitudinal study: study of development in which observations of the same individuals are
compared at different times of their lives
Cross-sectional take less time and avoid problem of person becoming familiar with test but have
a slight concrete problem
Prenatal period: nine months between conception and birth divided into zygotic, embryonic,
Epigenetic changes modification of cell inheritance that is not due to alterations of DNA
sequence itself
Examples: way DNA molecule is folded within proteins, chemical changes in structure of
nucleotide cytosine, complex modifications in the way DNA is mapped into protein synthesis
Stages of Prenatal Development
Zygote stage: first stage of prenatal development during which it divides many times and the
internal organs start to form
-lasts two weeks
Embryonic Stage: second stage, begins at 2 weeks and ends at 8 weeks after conception, during
which heart begins to beat, brain starts to function and most major body structures begin to form
-because many changes rely on delicate chemical balance, most susceptible to external
influences. These substances are Teratogens: substances, agents, events that can cause birth
-beginning of sexual development occurs, 23rd chromosome pair determines the sex; early in
development, embryo develops gonads that will become ovaries or testes

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-If testes present, begin to secrete androgens: primary class of sex hormone in male, primary is
-these hormones bring about development of male internal sex organs, penis and scrotum, and
therefore are very crucial; women development do not need hormones
Fetal Stage: third stage, lasts 7 months, beginning with appearance of bone tissue and ending
with birth
-2 months 4cm 30g, 3 months 8cm 90g (development of major organs complete and
bones/muscle beginning to develop, may show kicking)
-4 months 15cm 170g [sleeping and awake], 6 months 30cm 700g,
-7th month critical, if prematurely born at this point, fair chance of surviving, last two months
gains weight 250g a week, on average 50cm long and 3.5kg, ready to be born
Threats to Normal Prenatal Development
Mother’s diet most important, if malnourished, abnormal fetus nervous system
Tetracycline (antibiotic) can cause irregularities in bones and discoloration of teeth
If cocaine, high risk of premature birth, low birth weight, smaller than normal head
Smoking increased miscarriage rate, low birth weight, increased chance of premature,
increased change of c-section
-Can also cause lowered arousal levels in newborns, and uncommon birth defects such
as cleft palate
Alcohol pre and post natal growth deficits, deformations of eyes and mouth, low brain mass,
central nervous system abnormalities, heart deformation collectively= fetal alcohol syndrome
Infant and toddler applies to babies up to age of 2 years

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Motor Development
Follows distinct pattern dictated by maturation of muscles and nervous system
At birth most important movements are reflexes when touched on the head, will turn in that
direction, when against lips, will begin to suck, when milk or liquid enters mouth, will make
swallowing movements all automatically
Development of motor skills requires maturation of child’s nervous system and practice
Amount of growth of nervous system (considerable growth in first several months) is associated
with IQ later
Important changes in brain structure happen through lifespan as result of experience
Perceptual Development
Kisilevsky found playing sound of mother’s voice outside her abdomen increased heart rate of
fetus, while strangers did not
Infants develop all of their senses while within the womb and show examples of such once
Form Perception
Salapatek suggests age of one or two months babies do not perceive complete shapes, their
scanning strategy is limited to fixation on a few parts
At three months, shows signs of pattern recognition, and at 4/5 months can distinguish similar
Distance Perception
Ability to perceive 3D objects comes at early age
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