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Chapter 4

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Mark Schmuckler

Chapter 4 A NEW BABY’S REFLEXES  First behaviour to adapt are REFLEXES, involuntary responses to environmental stimuli  Abnormal reflexes can be indicators for identifying hearing or visual problems INFANT’S STATES  Alternative patterns of sleep and wakefulness  Tells us that human behaviour is organized and predictable and also that internal forces play a role SLEEPING  NEWBORN: Sleeps 70% of the day in short and long naps  4 WEEK OLDS: fewer but longer  8 WEEK OLDS: sleeps more during night and less during the day  Illustrates how the infants biorhythm changes to adapt to the new environment  Different among cultures and also the sleeping arrangements. -->co-sleeping/cribs or different rooms o Represent central ideas of family relationships  REM SLEEP o Rapid eye movements, fluctuating heart rate and blood pressure o Purpose is unknown but if awakened repeatedly irritability, disorganized o Infants have a lot of REM sleep but decreased to 20% by adulthood  Reason: AUTOSTIMULATION THEORY stimulates the brain and CNS CRYING  Basic, Anger and Pain  Mothers are better at distinguishing than fathers  EARLY MONTHS: crying is related to physiological distress  3-4 MONTHS: psychological distress  Many people believed before that rushing to soothe an infant will spoil the child  But later was founded that it actually decreases crying when delayed  2 situations: severe infant distress and fussing over minor things o Delay in the second can be positive but delay in the first could be fatal  Crying patterns can help identify possible abnormalities o Colic: babies cry a lot without an apparent reason  Begins between 2-4 weeks of age and characterized by high pitched, piercing cries  Sometimes may indicate an illness INFANT’S ABILITY TO SOOTHE THEMSELVES  Sucking their thumb or hand  Recent studies show that sucking on some substances soothes them better than others HOW PARENTS SOOTHE THEIR BABIES  Rocking, swaddling and massaging EVALUATING THE NEWBORN’S HEALTH AND CAPABILITIES  Baby reflex test combines with other assessments such as the BRAZELTON NEONATAL o Sensory and perception, early learning, motor. THE INFANT’S SENSORY AND PERCEPTUAL CAPACITIES  Sensations and perceptions are quite well developed at birth  Sensations may mature or change with age  Infant’s sucking pattern can change in response to a stimulus  VIOLATION OF EXPECTATION METHOD  VISUAL PREFERENCE MATHOD: differentiating between 2 visual stimuli  HABITUATION: assessment of the baby’s abilities be it visual, auditory, smell, etc HEARING  Well developed shorty after birth but not as well as an adult’s thus a sound must be louder and high pitched  AUDITORY LOCALIZATION: turn their heard towards the sound; they can detect the side and approximate location of the sound  Perceive many different aspects of musical structure as well  The MOZART EFFECT; but a myth  Babies as old as 2 days PREFER to hear human voices to other sounds  Learn to discriminate between voices very quickly mother’s to other’s VISION THE CLARITY OF INFANT’S VISION  VISUAL ACUITY: the clarity with which a person can discern fine details  Visual acuity has improved to normal adult range by the age of 6 months  The stipe VS gray HOW BABIES PERCEIVE COLORS  Newborns clearly have limited color vision  Newborns of only one day can discriminate color from non color stimuli  By 3-4 months can distinguish most colors and group colors into categories  By 4 months is same as adults  Early visual experience is important for color perception HOW BABIES PERCEIVE PATTERNS  The biological position says that it is innate  The environmental position says that experience is required  Although certain elements of a complex pattern attract the newborn’s attention does not mean that it perceives whole forms or scan it completely as a whole  By the age of 2 months, they trace the angles, edges and inner space  By 3 months, they are as good as adults at picking patterns out of generalized movements  By 4-5 months, they develop form information from motion
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