Chapter 4 - Independent Questions
I. Physical Changes
A. The Brain and Nervous System
1. (a) Is the reproductive system fully formed at birth?
(b)What brain structures are the most developed at birth? Identify the functions of these structures.
- Midbrain and medulla: regulate vital functions such as heartbeat and respiration, as well as
attention, sleeping, waking, elimination and movement of head and neck
(c) What part of the brain is the least developed at birth? Identify the functions of this structure.
- Cortex: grey matter that wraps around midbrain and is involved in perception, body movement,
thinking and language
i. Synaptic Development (See Chapter 3/4 Lecture Template)
2. Although synaptic pruning is influenced by whether or not our synapses are considered necessary or
useful (i.e., whether the synapse is regularly stimulated), what influences which neural pathways are
- Myelination follows the cephalolaudal and proximodistal patterns
3. (a) What brain structure primarily
regulates the skill of attention?
- Reticular formation
(b) When does myelination of the reticular formation begin and when is it complete?
- Myelination begins in infancy and continues through childhood and adolescence. Process isn’t
complete until a person is in his mid-20s.
B. Reflexes and Behavioural States
i. Reflexes (I will expand on this section in the chapter 3/4 lecture template)
4. (a)What adaptive reflexes persist across the lifespan
- Withdrawal from a pain stimulus
- Opening and closing of pupil in response to varying degrees of brightness
(b) What area of the brain controls primitive reflexes?
- Midbrain and medulla
(c) Summarize Philip Zelazo’s research finding about the stepping reflex. - Stimulation of reflexes may facilitate later motor development
Ex. Infants who are encouraged to exercise stepping reflex are more likely to begin walking
(c) When do primitive reflexes typically disappear in a neurologically healthy infant?
- Within 1 year
ii. Behavioural States
5. (a) How does Bronfenbrenner’s macrosystem context influence the way North American and
European parents respond to their infants’ sleep patterns/problems?
- North American parents typically see erratic sleeping schedules as behavior problems that require
“fixing” through parental intervention.
(b) You hear a mother give her daughter some parenting advice: “Don’t pick up your crying baby too
quickly because it is good to let your baby cry a little first”. Does research support this mother’s
parenting advice? Explain.
- No. Research suggests that soothing a crying baby may help reduce the amount of crying later in
C. Developing Body Systems and Motor Skills
6. What must happen to infants’ bones to enable them to perform coordinated movements such as
grasping an object (i.e, manipulative skills)?
- Ossification: the hardening of bones
ii. Muscles (Optional reading: Not on the exams)
iii. Lungs and Heart
7. How do changes in infants’ lungs and hearts contribute to advances in their motor skills?
- Improvement in lung efficiency and increasing strength of heart muscles help increase stamina.
Therefore, children are able to engage in longer periods of sustained motor activity
iv. Motor Skills
8. (a) Define the three groups of motor skills:
(1) locomotor skills (gross motor skills): abilities such as crawling that enable the infant to move around
in the environment
(2) nonlocomotor skills: skills, such as controlling head movements, that improve babies’ abilities
to use their senses and motor skills to interact with the objects and the people around them
(3) manipulative skills (fine motor skills): skills that involve use of the hands
(b) You need to know the developmental sequence of locomotor, nonlocomotor and manipulative skills presented in Table 4.2. For instance, you need to know what skill comes first, then what skill,
then what, and so on. (See sample multiple-choice question below)
- Locomotor skills:
1 month: stepping reflex
4-6 months: rolls over, sits with support, creeping
7-9 months: sits without support, crawls
10-12 months: pulls self up and walks grasping furniture, walks alone
13-18 months: walks backwards, sideways, runs
19-24 months: walks up and down stairs
- Nonlocomotor skills:
1 month: lifts head slightly, tracking
2-3 months: Lifts head to 90° when lying on stomach
4-6 months: holds head erect when sitting
10-12 months: squats, stoops, plays patty cake
13-18 months: rolls ball to adult, claps
19-24 months: jumps with both feet on ground
- Manipulative skills:
1 month: holds object if placed in hand
2-3 months: begins to swipe at objects in sight
4-6 months: reaches for, grasps objects
7-9 months: transfers objects from one hand to another
10-12 months: hand preference, grasps spoon in hand but cannot get it to mouth
13-18 months: stacks two blocks, puts objects into small container, dumps them
19-24 months: uses spoon to feed self, stacks 4-10 blocks
(d) James Galloway and Ester Thelen (2004) found an exception to the typical cephalocaudal and
proximodistal pattern of p