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Chapter 12

PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Preterm Birth, Jean Piaget


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYA02H3
Professor
Steve Joordens
Chapter
12

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Midterm Notes Chapter 12 Lifespan Development
Cross-sectional study: study of development in which individuals of different ages are compared at the same time
Longitudinal study: study of development in which observations of the same individuals are compared at different
times of their lives
Cross-sectional take less time and avoid problem of person becoming familiar with test but have a slight concrete
problem
PRENATAL DEVELOPMENT
Prenatal period: nine months between conception and birth divided into zygotic, embryonic, fetal
Epigenetic changes modification of cell inheritance that is not due to alterations of DNA sequence itself
Examples: way DNA molecule is folded within proteins, chemical changes in structure of nucleotide cytosine,
complex modifications in the way DNA is mapped into protein synthesis
Stages of Prenatal Development
Zygote stage: first stage of prenatal development during which it divides many times and the internal organs start to
form
-lasts two weeks
Embryonic Stage: second stage, begins at 2 weeks and ends at 8 weeks after conception, during which heart begins
to beat, brain starts to function and most major body structures begin to form
-because many changes rely on delicate chemical balance, most susceptible to external influences. These
substances are Teratogens: substances, agents, events that can cause birth defects
-beginning of sexual development occurs, 23rd chromosome pair determines the sex; early in development,
embryo develops gonads that will become ovaries or testes
-If testes present, begin to secrete androgens: primary class of sex hormone in male, primary is
testosterone
-these hormones bring about development of male internal sex organs, penis and scrotum, and therefore are
very crucial; women development do not need hormones
Fetal Stage: third stage, lasts 7 months, beginning with appearance of bone tissue and ending with birth
-2 months 4cm 30g, 3 months 8cm 90g (development of major organs complete and bones/muscle
beginning to develop, may show kicking)
-4 months 15cm 170g [sleeping and awake], 6 months 30cm 700g,
-7th month critical, if prematurely born at this point, fair chance of surviving, last two months gains weight
250g a week, on average 50cm long and 3.5kg, ready to be born
Threats to Normal Prenatal Development
Mother’s diet most important, if malnourished, abnormal fetus nervous system
Tetracycline (antibiotic) can cause irregularities in bones and discoloration of teeth
If cocaine, high risk of premature birth, low birth weight, smaller than normal head
Smoking increased miscarriage rate, low birth weight, increased chance of premature, increased change of c-
section
-Can also cause lowered arousal levels in newborns, and uncommon birth defects such as cleft palate
Alcohol pre and post natal growth deficits, deformations of eyes and mouth, low brain mass, central nervous
system abnormalities, heart deformation collectively= fetal alcohol syndrome
PHYSICAL AND PERCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT IN INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD
Infant and toddler applies to babies up to age of 2 years
Motor Development
Follows distinct pattern dictated by maturation of muscles and nervous system
At birth most important movements are reflexes when touched on the head, will turn in that direction, when
against lips, will begin to suck, when milk or liquid enters mouth, will make swallowing movements all
automatically

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Development of motor skills requires maturation of child’s nervous system and practice
Amount of growth of nervous system (considerable growth in first several months) is associated with IQ later
Important changes in brain structure happen through lifespan as result of experience
Perceptual Development
Kisilevsky found playing sound of mother’s voice outside her abdomen increased heart rate of fetus, while
strangers did not
Infants develop all of their senses while within the womb and show examples of such once outside
Form Perception
Salapatek suggests age of one or two months babies do not perceive complete shapes, their scanning strategy is
limited to fixation on a few parts
At three months, shows signs of pattern recognition, and at 4/5 months can distinguish similar faces
Distance Perception
Ability to perceive 3D objects comes at early age
Gibson and Walk Placed 6month old babies on a visual cliff, babies would not dare crawl over it
Infants require retinal disparity at early age to experience depth perception
Fawcett, Wang, Birch examined children with crossed vision to see when loss of disparity most affects stereopsis,
worst influence at 3.5 months, but can still affect even at 4 years
Critical and Sensitive Periods in Perceptual Development
Critical period: specific time in development during which certain experiences must occur for normal development
to occur
If infants don’t have opportunity to interact with caregivers during first two years, cognitive development impaired
Sensitive Period: period of time during which certain experiences have more of an effect on development than they
would have if they occurred at another time
Example acquisition of a second language, learned more easily in childhood
COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD
The Importance of a Responsive Environment
One of first things to learn is that baby’s actions have effect the events in the environment
Watson and Ramey presented three sets of infants with a mobile 10min/day/14 days
-sensor under the pillow under baby’s head and mobile above face. For one group it moved whenever
activated switch, the other remained stationary, the third activated randomly on its own.
-tested again after with the active switch in all three groups, those who had already learned did the same,
those who didn’t did not learn to do so
Being able to extend oneself and affect objects and people are important aspects of personal and social functioning
-example of J.F.; J.F. seemed incapable of accepting typical attachment between child and parent that she
was denied the first 3 years
-Faulder found that her emotional maturity was that of an 18 month old
-by 10 years old, house was living hell, diagnosed with autism, ADHD, attachment disorder, tourettes
Nelson suggested at times the brain’s development requires stimulation that normal childhood provides and without
it, the brain lacks direction for further development
The Work of Jean Piaget
Viewed cognitive development as maturational process
Thought completion of each period with corresponding abilities, is prerequisite for entering the next
Important to this theory is operation: a logical or math rule that transforms an object or concept into something else
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Suggested that as children develop they acquire mental representations or frameworks used for understanding and
dealing with the world and solving problems
-Proposed that schemata are first defined in terms of objects and actions but later become basis of concrete
and abstract concepts that constitute adult knowledge
Infants acquire schemata through their environment, two processes help them adapt, assimilation and
accommodation
Assimilation: the process by which new info about the world is incorporated into existing schemata
Accommodation: the process by which existing schemata are modified or changed by new experiences
Piaget’s Four Periods of Cognitive Development
Argued at key points, the two processes fail to adjust adequately to the child’s knowledge of the world
At this point through equilibrium, teh schemas are radically reorganized
Equilibrium: process that reorganizes schema
These key points divide cognitive development into four periods: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational,
formal operational
What is learned in one enables them to progress to the next
Sensorimotor Period
Sensorimotor period: Birth 2 years, first period, marked by orderly progression of increasingly complex
cognitive development: reflexes, permanence, rough approximation of causality, imitation, symbolic thinking
-closely tied to external stimuli
Until 6 months, children do not know objet permanence
In last half of first year, if object hidden, they will actively search for it, and in second year, will search for object in
last place the saw it hidden
Can only keep track of change in a hiding place they can see
The Preoperational Period
Preoperational Period: 2-7, second period, 4-5 year transition between first being able to think symbolically and
being able to think logically. Become increasingly able to speak meaningful sentences
Schemas are reorganized around words
Egocentrism: self centeredness; preoperational children can see the world from only their perspective
i.e. I can’t see you so you can`t see me
does not permit invertible operations, cannot conceptualize that a stack of pennies that was spread out can be
reversed, thought to be radically changed
Children still fall prey to conservation of mass, length and number
The Period of Concrete Operations
Period of concrete operations: 7-11, third period, children come to understand conservation principle and other
concepts such as categorization
The end of this marks transition into adolescence
Characterized by being able to perform logical analysis, increased ability to empathize, and understanding of more
complex cause-effect relations
If shown stick A is bigger than stick B, and stick B is bigger than stick C, they can say Stick A is bigger than C, but
only if they seen it, cannot do it abstractly
The Period of Formal Operations
Period of formal operations: begins at age 11, fourth period, individuals become capable of more formal kinds of
abstract thinking and hypothetical reasoning
Without exposure to classes in junior high and high school, people do not develop formal operational thinking
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