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PSYC 2450- CH 6.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2450
Anneke Olthof

PSYC 2450- CH 6: Physical Development of the Brain, Body, Motor Skills & Sexual Development An Overview of Maturation & Growth Changes in Height & Weight • Height & weight increase rapidly in the first two years- but it is very uneven. • By age 2 toddlers are half their eventual height & have quadrupled their birth weight • Age 2 until puberty, children gain 5-8 cm in height & 3kg in weight every year • Two to 3 year growth spurt at adolescence. Changes in Body Proportions • Anewborn’s head is 70% of it’s eventual adult size & makes up ¼ of their total body weight. Cephalocaudal Development- a sequence of physical maturation and growth that proceeds from the head (cephalic region) to the tail (caudal region). Proximodistal Development- a sequence of physical maturation and growth that proceeds from the centre of the body (the proximal region) to the extremities (distal regions) • Pattern reverse before puberty- hands & feet are first to adult size, followed by limbs & then the trunk. Skeletal Development • At birth an infant’s bones are soft & nearly all the bones are a source of blood cells- reason why they can’t sit up • Skeletal & muscular development parallel the changes occurring in height & weight • The skull is separated by six soft spots (fontanelles) which are filled in by minerals to form single skull by 2 SkeletalAge- a measure of physical maturation based on the child’s level of skeletal development. • Skeletal development is done by 18, but the thickness increases slightly throughout life. Muscular Development • Born with all the muscles we will ever have • At birth it is 35% water but grows as the cellular fluid in muscle tissues is bolstered by protein & salt • Grows slowly in childhood & accelerates in adolescence • By Mid 20’s skeletal muscle accounts for 40% of boys’body weight & only 24% of girls’. Variations in Physical Development • Physical growth is uneven (asynchronous) o Brain, reproductive system & lymph tissues mature at diff rates. o Sizeable individual & cultural differences in development. Development of the Brain • Increases from 25% of eventual weight toth5% of eventual weight by 2. Brain Growth Spurt- the period between the 7 prenatal month and 2 years of age where more than half of the child’s eventual brain weight is added. Neural Development & Plasticity Synapses- the connective space between one nerve cell (neuron) and another. Neurons- nerve cells that receive and transmit neural impulses • Produced in the neural tube of developing embryos & migrate along pathways laid out by guiding cells to form major parts of the brain. • Formation of new neurons in the hippocampus occurs throughout life Glia- nerve cells that nourish neurons and encase them in insulating sheaths of myelin • Major contributor to brain development • Many more neurons & synapses are created than are ever needed- those that are unused disappear (pruning) and those that are used are strengthened. • Individual neurons have the potential to serve any function, but it depends where they end up. Synaptogenesis- formation of connections (synapses) among neurons. Plasticity- capacity for change; a developmental state that has the potential to be shaped by experience. • Brain shows a lot of this up until puberty • Highest brain centre (cerebellum) consists of two hemispheres separated by the corpus callosum. Myenilization- the process by which neurons are enclosed in waxy myelin sheaths that 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 two 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 & higher intellectual functions such as learning, thinking and speaking, Cerebral Lateralization- the specia
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