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Development (I and II).docx

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Development - Multiple Levels of Analysis o Different levels frame different questions which lead to different answers to give you a richer understanding of a complex problem  Learning  Social  Cognition  Evolution  Gene-environment interactions across the evolutionary history of a species  Development  Gene-environment interactions across and individual’s lifespan  Neuroscience  The study of the nervous system and the neural basis of thought & behaviour - Module 2: Development o Refers to the changes and continuities that occur w/in the individual b/t conception and death o Maturation  The biologically-timed unfolding of changes w/in the individual according to that individual’s genetic plan  How that plan unfolds is influenced by specific environmental conditions that shape the genetically-determined processes o Learning  The acquisition of neuronal representations of new information  Relatively permanent changes in our thoughts, behaviours, and feelings as a result of our experiences  Eg. Don’t touch hot stove, look both ways when crossing street, learn piano etc.  Learned processes can be controlled but can also become so practised as to become automatic. E.g. child has to be reminded to look both left then right, adult does so automatically. However, learned behaviour not always optimal and must be overcome – e.g. when go to England and incoming traffic from right. o Interactionist-Perspective  The view that holds that maturation and learning interact during environment  Maturation learning. Some essential systems must be in place before learning proceeds – e.g. having limbs before walking, tongue dexterity before talking  Learning maturation. W/out some minimal level of input to learn from the outside world, maturation will be absent or delayed. E.g. properly fed Child isolated in dark room=problems in developing normal vision, speech, motor and social skills compared to any other child exposed to normal environmental stimulation o Module 3: Studying Development  Most focus is put on changes that occur in infancy and early child hood b/c more dramatic than those occurring later in life  Many researchers believe that the developmental changes that take place during early years play an especially important role in shaping who you become  Babies cannot communicate basically. Four ways to measure abilities in Infants:  Habituation – A decrease in the responsiveness to a stimulus following it’s repeated presentation o Habituation procedure – determines if an infant can detect the difference b/t two stimuli o Infants tend to show interest in novel objects in the environment. Habituation procedure begins by repeatedly presenting the infant with the same stimulus, such as tone or picture, while measuring changes in physiological reposes, like heart rate and breathing, or behavioural orienting responses like head or eye movement to make a baseline. When a neovel stimulus is presented, an infant will initially show a burst of activity. As the same stimulus is repeatedly presented, the infant’s responses will return to baseline levels. At this point the infant has demonstrated habituation to the stimulus. The stimulus can now be changed, and if the infant recognizes the change by distinguishing the new stimulus from the old one, she is said to dishabituate and show another burst of responsiveness. If she cannot differentiate = no extra responsiveness.  Dishabituation – An increases in the responsiveness to stimulus that is somehow different from the habituated stimulus.  Event Related Potentials – a measure of the brain electrical activity evoked by the presentation of stimuli  A special cap w/ an array of electrodes is carefully placed on the scalp. These sensitice electrodes can detect changes in electric activity across a population of neurons in the brain. The particular behaviour being measured will evoke changes in the various brain regions of interest. E.g. visual stimulus – occipital lobe, auditory stimulus – temporal region  High Amplitude Sucking method – an infant can control their sucking behaviour to some extent which can be accurately measured by a specific pacifier  First measure the baseline sucking rate for the infants in the absence of relevant stimulus. During the shaping procedure, the infant is given control over the presentation of a stimulus to be tested. If infant sucks on the pacifier at a faster rate than baseline, that causes the presented stimulus to be presented. If infant likes stimulus, she can prolong stimulus by increasing her sucking rate. But is she doesn’t like it, she can stop sucking sooner to end the presentation.  Preference Method –  Put in looking chamber to simultaneously look at 2 different stimuli. The researcher can measure the direction that the infant is looking to tell if more attention is being directed to one stimulus over the other. E.g. infants prefer looking at bog patters w/ lots of black and white contrasts and prefer looking at faces.  Competence-Performance Distinction  Researchers may incorrectly conclude that an infant does not possess an ability that they actually do b/c researchers may use a research technique that does not properly measure their variable of interest, given their subject pool.  An individual may fail a task not because they lack those cognitive abilities, but because they are unable to demonstrate those abilities. E.g. a preverbal child given a verbal test w/out knowledge of inability to speak may be given a fail even if child does know what is being asked - Module 4: Developmental Research Designs o Unique experimental designs necessary b/c study would look at how aspects change with age. o Longitudinal Design  A developmental research design in which the same individuals are studied repeatedly over some subset of their lifespan.  Allows researchers to assess developmental changes. E.g. links b/t early and later life. Could find patterns that are common to all people.  Very Expensive and Time Consuming  Selective Attrition – Loss of participants in a study such that the sample ends up being non-responsive of the population as a whole  Practise Effects – changes in participants’ responses due to repeated testing. Subjects may improve performance based on prior exposure alone, rather than on natural development over time of the skills being studied. o Cross-Sectional Design  Individuals from different age groups are studied tat the same point in time (w/out the need to be tracked over the span of many years)  May allow the researcher to formulate some likely developmental trends  Relatively less time consuming and expensive; can uncover differences  Cannot distinguish age effects from generation effects (everyone born in different year so birth year could affect life trends – such as practice with memorising small lists of numbers if born 20 vs. 50 years ago.)  Cannot directly assess individual developmental changes (you are not really observing what happens as a person changes and instead making inferences on trends in group data.) - Module 1: Introduction to Hereditary Transmission o Sperm+Ovum=Zygote (46 Chromosome (23 from each parent))  Chromosome = Threadlike structure made from DNA  Segment of DNA comprise genes – which provide the chemical code for development  Humans have b/t 30-40000 genes  The zygote quickly divides at an exponential rate form 2-4-8-16 - billions of cells when born  Each parent can produce more than 8 million different genetic combinations from sperm or ova (2^23) which means each couple could produce 64 trillion genetically distinct offspring  Exception: Identical Twins: o Monozygotic Twins: genetically identical b/c come from same sperm and ovum which formed one zygote and then split into 2 different zygotes o Dizygotic twin: are no more genetically similar than any 2 full siblings (i.e. share ~50% of genes) b/c come from 2 different sperm and ova so start off as 2 different zygotes  Historically women have been held responsible for producing male heir – actually male responsible.  We all have 23 pairs of chromosome, 22 autosomes, 1 sex chromosome. Female = XX sex chromosomes so can only give X to offspring. Male = XY sex chromosomes so can give X (female) or Y (male) to child. o Genotype – An individual’s inherited genes (the 46 identical chromosomes in each cell translates into the roughly 30 to 40000 genes that make up your genotype. o Phenotype – The expression of an individual’s genotype in terms of observable characteristics. o The expression of genotype into phenotype for particular traits can follow one of several patterns of inheritances and so siblings w/ the same parents may have different eye colour.  Simple dominant-recessive inheritance  The expression of a trait is determined by a single pair of alleles (genes.) Together the pair of alleles determines the phenotypeic expression for a particular trait. o Homozygous – When two alleles have the same effect on the phenotype o Heterozygous – When two alleles have a different effect on the phenotype (although both alleles are carried, only the dominant allele is ex
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