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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 TEXTBOOK NOTES - MIDTERM REVIEW (Lifespan Development)

Course Code
John Bassili

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Chapter 12 Lifespan Development
Cross-sectional study: study of development of individuals of different ages at the same
Longitudinal study: study of development of the same individuals at different times
Prenatal period: period between conception and birth
Stages: zygotic, embryonic, fetal
X chromosome inactivation determines what genes are passed on to develop in the
X chromosome inactivation epigenetic modification: the way DNA molecules are
formed with proteins to change the cell inheritance into neurons, blood cells,
muscles, etc.
oThe DNA molecules change due to the chemical environment that it is
surrounded in
Stages of Prenatal Development
1. Zygote stage: single cell formed at conception; divides many times to form internal
organs in the body
ocells are arranged in two layers:
skin, hair, nervous system, sensory organs
digestive system and respiratory system
finally, muscles, circulatory, excretory system
2. Embryonic stage: starts at 2 weeks and 8 weeks
oheart begins to beat, brains functions, arms, legs, toes, shoulders, etc start to
oteratogens: substances, agents, events that can cause birth defects
osexual development: embryos, testes form
oandrogens: sexual hormones in males testosterone
3. Fetal stage: lasts 7 months
oBone tissue forms
oKicking and movement, heartbeat can be heard, sensitivity to light
Threats to Normal Prenatal Development
Mothers diet (alcohol) low brain mass, nervous system abnormality, heart
Antibiotics (cocaine) may become addicted, show hyperactivity, vomiting
Cigarette smoking reduced oxygen to the fetus, miscarriages, speech
Teratogens environment: pesticides; damage to chromosome structure
(sperm cells)

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Motor Development
Maturation: change in thought, behaviour, physical growth by aging process, not
Reflexes of rooting, sucking most important at this stage
Maturation of nervous system and practice: important for IQ and brain structure
changes from experience
Complex movements depends on the interaction of motor and neural development
Perceptual Development
Auditory system: hearing a mothers voice rather than a strangers heart rate
Form perception: it looks at what parts of an object the baby is scanning.
oAt one month, babies scan edges
oAt two months, babies scans the interior of the edges
oAt three months, babies recognize patterns
oAt four months, they recognize familiar faces
Distance Perception
oStereopsis: images must be on different points of the retina in order to have
depth perception
Critical and Sensitive Periods in Perceptual Development
oCritical Period: when certain experiences must occur to have normal
oSensitive period: when certain experiences have more of an effect on
development at a certain time over another time
Piagets theory, Vygotskys theory, and information processing method
The Importance of a Responsive Environment
Events in the environment can be dependent on their own behaviours
Watson and Ramey: experiment on babies and mobiles turning
J. F. Experiment: she lacked the type of experiences (parents love) and her brain
lacked development for further development
The Work of Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
Maturational process: completion of each period, with corresponding abilities, is
prerequisite for the next period.
Operation: a transformation of an object or concept into something else; can be
reversed back to the original form
oRhonda is my sister Rhonda sister
Assimilation: new information incorporated into existing schemata

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oKnowing adults are tall, children are short; so other people who look like that
are categorized into either adults or children.
oConfusion if an adult is the same height as a child
Accommodation: existing schemata changed by new experiences
oAdding on possibilities that adults can also be short
Piagets Four Periods of Cognitive Development
Equilibration: reorganizes existing schemata
Period Approximate
AgeMajor Features
SensorimotorBirth to 2 years-object permanence: idea that objects dont
disappear when they are out of sight
-deferred imitation
-rudimentary symbolic thinking
Preoperational2 to 6 or 7 years-increased ability to think symbolically and
-egocentrism: only sees world from their own
-cannot yet master conservation: ability to
understand objects retain mass, volume when it
changes in shape problems
Operational6 or 7 to 11 years-can master conversation problems
-can understand categorization
-cannot think abstractly
Formal Operational11 years upward-can think abstractly and hypothetically
Evaluation of Piagets Contribution
oResearch showed that children were able to understand the conservation of
physical attributes before the stage he suggested
Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development (1896-1934)
The environment affects the cognitive development society and culture
Use of speech also influences development thought and language
Actual developmental level: reaching the level of solving problems on their own
Zone of proximal development: increased potential for solving problems if
someone helps them
Rovee-Collier performed an experiment where infants had a toy tied to their leg and
it would move if they moved
Some time after, they would show it again without being tied to the leg and if they
infant knew to kick it themselves, then this proved that the child remembered how
to test it in a similar way
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