FRHD*1010 Chapter 3.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1010
Susan Chuang

FRHD*1010 nd th September 30 – October 6 2013 Chapter 3: The 1 Two Years Growth in Infancy  In infancy, growth is so rapid & the consequences of neglect are so severe that gains are closely monitored  Medical checkups provide 1 clues as to whether the infant is progressing as expected Body Size  Weight gain is dramatic  Birth weight typically doubles by 4 months & triples by a year  Avg. pound newborn is 7 pounds nd  Physical growth in the 2 year is slower but still rapid  by 24 months, most children weigh almost 28 lbs.  Should be 34 inches at age 2 Norm: An average/standard, measurement calculated from the measurements of many individuals within a specific group or population  Genetic diversity means that some perfectly healthy newborns are smaller or larger than norm  Prenatal and postnatal brain development (measured by head circumference) is crucial for later cognition Head-Sparing: A biological mechanism protects the brain when malnutrition disrupts body growth. The brain is the last part of the body to be damaged by malnutrition. Brain Development Brain Basics Neuron: 1 of the billions of nerve cells in the central nervous system (especially in the brain) Cortex: The outer layers of the brain in humans & other mammals. Most thinking, feeling & sensing involve the cortex Prefrontal Cortex: The area of the cortex at the very front of the brain that specializes in anticipation, planning & impulse control Axon: A fiber that extends from a neuron & transmits electrochemical impulses from that neuron to the dendrites of other neurons Synapses: The intersection between the axon of 1 neuron & the dendrites of other neurons Neurotransmitter: A brain chemical that carries information from the axon of a sending neuron to the dendrites of a receiving neuron Synaptic gap: The pathway across which neurotransmitters carry info from the axon of the sending neuron to the dendrites of the receiving neuron Experiences & Pruning  At birth, the brain contains at least 100 billion neurons more than a person needs  A newborn has fewer dendrites & synapses than the person will eventually possess  Dendrite growth is the major reason that brain weight triples from birth to age 2  Extensive postnatal brain growth is highly unusual for mammals  It occurs in humans b/c human pelvis is relatively small so the baby’s head must be small in order for birth to be possible Transient Exuberance: The great but temporary increase in the # of dendrites that develop in an infant’s brain during 1 2 years of life  Followed by pruning Pruning: When applied to brain development, the process by which unused connections in the brain atrophy & die  This loss of dendrites increases brainpower 1  Too much or too little will cause problems Harm & Protection  Most infants develop well within their culture & head-sparing usually ensures a baby’s brain is sufficiently nourished  Brains don't develop well without certain experiences humans need  Infants need stimulation  Playing w/ a young baby, allowing varied sensations, encouraging movement  The fact that infant brains respond to their circumstances suggests that waiting too long until evidence that a young child is mistreated is waiting too long Self-righting: The inborn drive to remedy a developmental deficit; literally, to return to sitting or standing upright after being tipped over. People of all ages have self-righting impulses, for emotional as well as physical imbalance Sleep  One circumstance of brain maturation is the ability to sleep through the night  Newborns cant do this  they normally sleep 15-17 hours a day in 1-3 hour segments  Sleep specifies vary not only b/c of biology (age & genes) but also b/c of the social environment  W/ responsive parents, full-0term newborns sleep more than low-birth weight babies, who are hungry every 2 hours  Social environment has a direct effect REM (rapid eye movement) Sleep: A stage of sleep characterized by flickering eyes behind closed lids, dreaming & rapid brain waves Perceiving & Moving The Senses  Every sense functions at birth  Open eyes, sensitive ears, responsive noses, tongues & skin Sensation: The response of sensory system (eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose) when it detects a stimulus Perception: The mental processing of sensory info when the brain interprets a sensation  This happens in the cortex, usually as the result of a message from 1 of the sensing organs, such as from the eye to the visual cortex  Perception follows sensation when senses are noticed by the brains  Cognition follows perception Hearing & Seeing  The sense of hearing develops during the last trimester of pregnancy which means they can hear in the womb  By 4 months post birth, infants have developed perceptions of speech  Babies expect rhythms, segmentations & cadence of the words they ear long before they understand the meaning  Vision is the least mature sense at birth  Although eyes open mid-pregnancy they are sensitive to bright light  Vision approves so rapidly that researchers are hard-pressed to describe day-to-day improvements  As perception builds, visual scanning improves Binocular Vision: The ability to focus the 2 eyes in a coordinated manner in order to see 1 image  Impossible in the womb Tasting & Smelling  Smell & taste function at birth and rapidly adapt st the social world  Infants learn to appreciate what their mothers eat, 1 through the breast milk & then through smells & spoonfuls of whatever the family has for dinner 2  As babies learn to recognize each person’s scent, they prefer to sleep next to their caregivers & they nuzzle into their caregiver’s chest Touch & Pain  The sense of touch is acute in infants, with wrapping, rubbing & cradling all soothing to many new babies  Although all newborns respond to being securely held, soon they prefer specific, familiar touches  Pain & temperatures are not among the 5 senses but they are often connected to touch  Scientists aren’t sure about infant pain Motor Skills Motor Skills: The learned abilities to move some part of the body, in actions ranging from a large leap to a flicker of the eyelid  The most dramatic motor skill is independent walking  Walking and other motor skills like newborn head lifting and toddlers stair climbing develop gradually over 2 years  Caregiving & culture matter  Reflexes become skills if they are practiced and encouraged Gross Motor Skills Gross Motor Skills: Physical abilities involving large body movements, such as walking and jumping  Emerge directly from reflexes and proceed in a head down & center-out direction The dynamic systems underlying motor skills have 3 interacting elements, each illustrated here with a example related to walking 1. Muscle Strength 2. Brain maturation 3. Practicing Fine Motor Skills Fine Motor Skills: Physical abilities involving small body movements, especially of the hands and fingers such as drawing & picking up a coin  Mouth skills precede finger skills by many mouths  Shaped by culture & opportunity 3 Dynamic Sensory-Motor Systems The entire package of sensations & motor skills furthers 3 goals: 1. Social Interaction 2. Comfort 3. Learning  Young human infants are physiologically an unusual combo of motor immaturity (cant walk for many months), sensory acuteness (all senses function at birth) & curiosity  The most important experiences are perceived w/ interacting sensing & skills in dynamic systems  Breast milk is a mild sedative so newborn feels happier a mother’s breast connecting that pleasure w/ taste, touch, smell & sight  In order o joy to occur, infant must actively seek nipple Surviving in Good Health Better Days Ahead  In developed nations, 99.9% of newborns who survive the 1 month live to adulthood  In poorest nations 93% live  Public health measures (clean water, nourishing foods, immunization etc.) are main reason for higher rate of survival which has led to many other benefits  Lower birth rates, less starvation & better education Immunization Immunization: A process that stimulates the body’s immune system to defend against attack by a particular contagious disease. Immunization may be accomplished either naturally (having the disease) or through vaccination  No immunization is yet available for malaria  It used to be that the only way to become immune to these diseases was to catch them. Sicken & recover  Immune system would then produce antibodies to prevent recurrence Problems W/ Immunization  Infants may react to immunization by being irritable or even feverish for a day or so, to the distress of parents  Many parents concerned w/ side-effects  Sometimes side effects get broadcasted that scare parents Nutrition  Infant mortality worldwide has plummeted in recent years  Fewer sudden infant deaths, advances in prenatal & newborn care & immunization
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