Test #2 – Textbook Notes
Chapter 6: Physical Development – The Brain, Body, Motor Skills and Sexual
*babies who walk early are not necessarily inclined to be especially bright
*the average 2 y.o. is already about half of his/her adult height
*half the nerve cells (neurons) in the average baby’s brain die (and are not
replaced) over the first few years of life
*most children walk when they are ready, and no amount of encouragement will
enable a 6 month-old to walk alone
*hormones have a huge effect on human growth and development before
*emotional trauma can seriously impair the growth of young children
-babies gain 28g each day and 2.5cm each month
-babies double their weight by 4-6mos. + tripling it by the end of the year
-by age 2, quadrupled birth weight to 12-14kg
-newborn head is 70% adult size; ¼ of full size like legs are
-cephalocaudal development: physical growth that proceeds from the head
(cephalic region) to the tail (caudal region).
-proximodistal development: children grow outward (ex.- chest and internal
organs form first, then arms and legs, then hands and feet) *this pattern reverses
when puberty hits
-skeletal age: a measure of physical maturation based on the child’s level of
-brain growth spurt: the period between the 7 prenatal month and 2 years of
age when more than half of the child’s eventual brain weight is added.
-synapse: the connective space (juncture) between 1 nerve cell (neuron) +
-neurons: nerve cells that receive and transmit neural impulses
-glia: nerve cells that nourish neurons and encase them in insulating sheaths of
-synaptogenesis: formation of connections (synapses) among neurons.
-plasticity: capacity for change; a developmental state that has the potential to
be shaped by experience.
-myelinization: the process by which neurons are enclosed in waxy myelin
sheaths that will facilitate the transmission of neural impulses.
-cerebrum: the highest brain centre; includes both hemispheres of the brain and
the fibres that connect them.
-corpus callosum: the bundle of neural fibres that connect the 2 hemispheres
of the brain and transmit information from one hemisphere to the other.
-cerebral cortex: the outer layer of the brain’s cerebrum, which is involved in
voluntary body movements, perception, and higher intellectual functioning
(ex.- learning, thinking, speaking). -cerebral lateralization: the specialization of brain functions in the left and right
*fig. 6.5 (pg. 173)
motor development theories (M.E.D.)
1. maturational viewpoint: motor development is the unfolding of genetically
programmed sequence of events where the nerves and muscles mature in a
downward and outward direction.
2. experiential (or practice) hypothesis: opportunities to practice motor skills
are also important.
3. dynamical systems theory: a theory that views motor skills as active
reorganizations of previously mastered capabilities undertaken to find more
effective ways of exploring the environment or satisfying other objectives.
*voluntary reaching and manipulatory (or hand) skills.
-proprioceptive information: sensory information from the muscles, tendon,
and joints that help one to locate the position of one’s body (or body parts) in
-ulnar grasp: an early manipulatory skill in which an infant grasps objects by
pressing the fingers against the palm.
-pincer grasp: a grasp in which the thumb is used in opposition to the fingers,
enabling an infant to become more dexterous at lifting/fondling objects.
-physically active play: moderate to vigorous play activities such as running,
jumping, climbing, play-fighting, or game-playing that raise a child’s metabolic
rate far above resting levels.
-adolescent growth spurt: the rapid increase in physical growth that marks the
beginning of adolescence.
-puberty: the point at which a person reaches sexual maturity and is physically
capable of fathering or conceiving a child.
-menarche: the first occurrence of menstruation.
-secular trend: a trend toward earlier maturation and greater body size now
than in the past.
-anorexia and bulimia
-rites of passage: rituals that signify the passage from one period of life to
another (ex.- puberty rites).
causes and correlates of physical development
-thyroxine: a hormone produced by the thyroid gland; essential for normal
growth of the brain and the body.
-pituitary: a ‘master gland’ located at the base of the brain that regulates the
endocrine glands and produces growth hormone.
-growth hormone: (GH) the pituitary hormone that stimulates the rapid growth
and development of body cells; primarily responsible for the adolescent growth
-estrogen: produced by ovaries. testosterone: produced by the testes. *fig 6.8 (pg. 195)
-catch-up growth: a period of accelerated growth in which children who have
experienced growth deficits grow very rapidly to ‘catch up’ to the growth
trajectory that they are genetically programmed to follow.
-marasmus: a growth-retarding disease affecting infants who receive
insufficient protein and too few calories.
-kwashiorkor: a growth-retarding disease affecting children who receive enough
calories but little if any protein.
-vitamin/mineral deficiency: diet is lacking in 1 or more substances promoting
-iron-deficiency anemia: a listlessness (lack of interest/energy) caused by too
little iron in the diet; makes children inattentive and may retard physical +
-obese: 20% above the ideal weight for their height, age, and sex. (H.A.S.)
-nonorganic failure to thrive: an infant growth disorder caused by lack of
attention and affection, that causes growth to slow dramatically or stop
-deprivation dwarfism: a childhood growth disorder that is triggered by
emotional deprivation and characterized by decreased production of GH,
slow growth, and small stature.
*pg. 201 summary
Chapter 7: Early Cognitive Foundations – Sensation, Perception and Learning
-sensation: detection of stimuli by the sensory receptors and transmission of
this information to the brain.
-perception: process by which we categorize and interpret sensory input.
-enrichment theory: theory specifying that we must add to sensory stimulation
by drawing on stored knowledge in order to perceive a meaningful world.
-differentiation theory: theory specifying that perception involves detecting
distinctive features or cues that are contained in the sensory stimulation we
-distinctive features: char.s of a stimulus that remain constant; dimensions on
which 2 or more objects differ and can be discriminated (sometimes called
‘invariances’ or ‘invariant features’).
research methods used to study the infant’s sensory and perceptual experiences
-the preference method: method used to gain info about infants’ perceptual
abilities by presenting 2 or more stimuli and observing which stimulus the infant
-the habituation method: decrease in response to a stimulus that has become
familiar through repetition. -dishabituation: an increase in responsiveness that occurs when stimulation
-evoked potential: a change in patterning of the brainwaves that indicates that
an individual detects (senses) a stimulus.
-high-amplitude sucking method: a method of assessing infants’ perceptual
capabilities that capitalizes only on the ability of infants to make interesting
events last by varying the rate at which they suck on a special pacifier.
-phonemes: smallest meaningful sound units that make up a spoken language.
-otitis media: common bacterial infection of the middle ear that produces mild to
moderate hearing loss.
-visual acuity: a person’s ability to see small objects and fine detail.
-visual contrast: amount of light/dark transition in a visual stimulus.
*table 7.1, pg. 216.
-stereopsis: fusion of 2 flat images to produce a single image that has depth.
-pictorial (perspective) cues: depth and distance cues (including linear
perspective, texture gradients, sizing, interposition, and shading) that are
monocular – that is, detectable with only 1 eye.
-visual looming: expansion of the image of an object to take up the entire visual
field as it draws closer to the face.
-size constancy: tendency to perceive an object as the same size from different
distances despite changes in the size of its retinal image.
-kinetic cues: cues created by the movements of objects or movements of the
body; provide important information for the perception of forms and spatial
-visual cliff: elevated platform that creates an illusion of depth; used to test the
depth perception of infants.
-intermodal perception: ability to use 1 sensory modality to identify a stimulus
or pattern of stimuli that is already familiar through another modality.
-perceptual learning: changes in ability to extract information from sensory
stimulation that occur as a result of experience.
-learning: a relatively permanent change in behaviour (or behaviour potential)
that results from one’s experiences or practice.
-classical conditioning: a type of learning in which an initially neutral stimulus is
repeatedly paired with a meaningful non-neutral stimulus so that the neutral
stimulus comes to elicit the response originally made only to the non-neutral
-unconditioned stimulus (UCS): stimulus that elicits a particular response
without any prior learning.
-unconditioned response (UCR): unlearned response elicited by an
-conditioned response (CR): learned response to a stimulus that was not
originally capable of producing the response. -conditioned stimulus (CS): initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a
particular response after being paired with an unconditioned stimulus that always
elicits the response.
-extinction: gradual weakening and disappearance of a learned response that
occurs because the conditioned stimulus is no longer paired with the
unconditioned stimulus (in classical conditioning) or the response is no longer
reinforced (in operant conditioning).
-counterconditioning: treatment based on classical conditioning in which the
goal is to extinguish an undesirable response and replace it with a new and more
-operant conditioning: a form of learning in which freely emitted acts
(operants) become either more or less probable depending on the
consequences they produce.
-reinforcer: increases probability that the act will recur.
-positive reinforcer: the presentation of this as the consequence of an act
increases the probability that the act will recur.
-negative reinforcer: the removal/termination of this as the consequence of an
act increases the probability that the act will recur.
-punisher: suppresses the response and decreases the probability that it will
-positive punishment: punishing consequence that involves the presentation of
something unpleasant following a behaviour.
-negative punishment: punishing consequence that involves the removal of
something pleasant following a behaviour.
-encoding: process by which external stimulation is converted into a mental
-deferred imitation: ability to reproduce a modeled activity that has been
witnessed at some point in the past.
*summary pg. 242
Chapter 8: Cognitive Development – Piaget’s Theory, Case’s Neo-Piagetian
Theory and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Viewpoint (246-292)
-cognition: the activity of knowing and the processes through which knowledge
-cognitive development: changes that occur in mental activities such a
attending, perceiving, learning, thinking, and remembering.
-genetic epistemology: the experimental study of the development of
knowledge, developed by piaget.
-intelligence: in piaget’s theory, a basic life function that enables an organism to
adapt to its environment. -cognitive equilibrium: piaget’s term for the state of affairs in which there is a
balanced, or harmonious, relation.
-constructivist: one who gains knowledge by acting/operating on objects and
events to discover their properties.
-scheme: an organized pattern of thought or action that a child constructs to
make sense of some aspect of his or her experience; piaget sometimes uses the
term ‘cognitive structures’ as a synonym.
-organization: an inborn tendency to combine and integrate available schemes
into coherent systems or bodies of knowledge.
-adaptation: an inborn tendency to adjust to the demands of the environment.
-assimilation: the process of interpreting new experiences by incorporating
them into existing schemes.
-accommodation: the process of modifying existing schemes in order to
incorporate or adapt to new experiences.
-invariant developmental sequence: a series of developments that occur in
one particular order because each development in the sequence is a
prerequisite for those appearing later.
-sensorimotor period: piaget’s 1 intellectual stage. from birth to 2 years, when