-Development starts in the womb
Physical development: genes govern much of the prenatal development of
the human nervous system
- Hormones that circulate in the womb influence the developing fetus
Teratogens: environmental influences may have adverse effects on the
developing fetus. Ex. Drugs, alcohol, or illness can impair physical and
cognitive development. These are examples of teratogens, which are agents
(bacteria, viruses, chemicals, drugs) that can cause abnormal development in
Critical learning periods: time in which certain experiences must occur for
normal brain development, such as exposure to visual information during
infancy for the normal development of the visual pathways of the brain.
- The idea that there are biologically determined time periods when a child
must be exposed to language in order to achieve normal brain development:
critical period hypothesis
Attachment: a strong emotional connection that persists over time and
Strange situation test:
- Secure attachment: happy to play alone and is friendly to the stranger
while the attachment figure is present
- Avoidant attachment: don’t appear upset by the attachment figures
- Anxious-ambivalent attachment: anxious throughout the test.
The hormone oxytocin is related to social behaviors, including infant-
Parents have multiple influences on their children such as their attitudes,
values and religious beliefs.
Parents who are especially nurturing tend to raise children who experience
more social emotions, such as guilt, because an empathetic attitude toward
others is encouraged. They also determine the neighborhood in which
children live, the schools they attend and extracurricular activities—all of
which are likely to influence the child
There is an interaction between genes and environmental influence
Newborns have all their senses at birth
Experiments such as the orienting reflex, where the tendency of humans
(even from birth) pays more attention to novel stimuli than to stimuli to
which they have become habituated or accustomed.
If you time the number of seconds an infant looks at things, you will find that
the infant looks away more quickly from something familiar than from
something unfamiliar or puzzling. Using habituation allows researchers to
create a response preference for one stimuli over another.