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Chapter 10

PSYCH101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Synaptogenesis, Mirror Neuron, Synaptic Pruning

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Development Psychology Textbook
10.1 Physical Development from Conception through Infancy
Measuring Development Trends
Development psychology: study of human physical, cognitive, social, and behavioural
characteristics across the lifespan
Cross-sectional design: measures and compares samples of people at different ages at a given
point in time
Suffers from cohort effects - differences between people that result from being born in
different time periods
Longitudinal design: follows the development of the same set of individuals through time
Cost and time-consuming and suffers from attrition - when participants drop out of a
study for some reason
Sensitive period: window of time during which exposure to a specific type of environmental
stimulation is needed for normal development of a specific ability
E.g. infants need to be exposed to speech during their first few years to become fluent
in their native language
Phases of Prenatal Development
Geminal ( 0-2 weeks)
Migration of the blastocyst from the fallopian tubes to its implantation in uterus
Cellular division leads to multiple organ, nervous system, and skin tissue
Embryonic (2-8 weeks)
Basic cell layers become differentiated and body parts form
Fetal (8 weeks - birth)
Brain development progresses as circulatory, digestive systems develop
Sex organs appear
Fertilization and Gestation
Germinal stage: first phase of prenatal development
Zygote: initial cell formed when the nuclei of egg and sperm fuse
Begins dividing and balls of cells (blastocyst) split into two groups
Inner group of cells form fetus and outer form placenta
4 weeks - first signs of major divisions of brain (forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain)
11 weeks - differentiations between cerebral, cerebellum, and brainstem
Final months - Myelination: fatty tissue of myelin builds up around nerve cells
Myelin insulates nerve cells allowing them to conduct messages more efficiently
Nutrition and Fetal Development
Children who were malnutritioned in the womb have underdeveloped prefrontal cortex
Teratogens: substances that impair the process of development (drugs or environmental toxins)
Fetal alcohol syndrome: abnormalities in mental functioning, growth, and facial
development in offspring of women who use alcohol during pregnancy
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