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Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3.docx

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David Haley

CHAPTER 3 – Biological Foundations: Genes, Temperament, and More Biological preparedness for Social Interaction HOW ARE BABIES PREPARED? From Biological Rhythms to Social Rhythms - behaviour follows biological rhythm, learn to control and regulate - over first 3 months=interact w/ mothers in synchronous way, synchrony=mother and infant show predictable degree of responsiveness to each other’s signals during brief interaction - infants born 6-10 weeks prematurely have not fully developed biological rhythms Visual Preparation for Social Interaction - attracted to visual social stimuli - stare longest at objects with: large visible elements, movements, clear contours, and a lot of contrast (exist in human face)  face appealing to babies, exaggerate facial expressions w/ baby, scan faces looking at features see best: eyes, mouth, and hair  figure 3.1, p.75; pay most attention to eyes - by 3 months=identify human face as unique whole - over first year of life=become increasingly skilled and speedy at processing human faces=critical for developing social abilities Auditory Preparedness For Social Interaction - well developed before birth - can hear complex sounds outside of mother’s body - fetuses can distinguish sounds and rhythms, biologically programmed to respond to sound of human voices - like voice high in pitch and exaggerated pitch contours –very young babies listen better to high pitched than low pitched - prefer “baby talk”: talk louder and slower and use longer vowels, often ending sentence w/ rising intonation - by 9 months of age=tune out words/sounds from other languages Smell, Taste, and Touch - newborns discriminate among different odors and tastes, prefer those that adults find pleasant - cry less, open eyes, and try to suck when smell mother’s breast over another mother  mothers recognize scent of baby after day or two  develop preferences for food flavours consumed by mother (through breast milk of mother) - sense of touch first to develop, very sensitive when born  discriminate objects, come to recognize mothers and father by skin textures and appearance of facial features Beyond Faces and Voices: Primed to be a Social Partner - like other ppls behaviours - by 2-3 months=enjoy face-to-face play w/ parents –show more positive facial expressions, vocalize more and less distress than w/ toys  parents respond contingently and predictably, encourage infant to do same positive emotional expressions  take turns, if baby doesn’t want anymore they stop responding or cry  they don’t all go smoothly –infants prenatally exposed to cocaine, depressed mothers=more passive, withdrawn, express negative affect, “still face”, infants more negative and self-directed regulatory behaviour  learn they can alter course of interaction by behaviour and emotional expressions, growth of social skills and expectations, grow to sustain attention longer, shift attention, be both initiator and responder WHY ARE BABIES PREPARED? Adaptive=ensures survival of human infant and species - Depend on support and nurture of parents for long period of time=need biologically programmed behaviours to get what they need The Neurological Basis of Social Development The Brain - largest part is the cerebrum: two connected hemispheres of the brain allows to have attributes that make us human, and those we share w/ other vertebrate animals - cerebral cortex: covering layer of cerebrum, contains cells that control specific functions such as seeing, hearing, moving, and thinking figure 3.2, p.78 Brain Growth and Development - grows very rapidly in prenatal period - newborn infant’s brain weighs ¼ of mature brain, 6 months=weighs half of adult brain, 2yrs=weighs 3/4s of adult brain - development not evenly paced - first the motor cortex has growth spurts  2months old=frontal motor cortex undergoes period of rapid change=motor reflexes (rooting and startle responses) disappear and ability to reach for objects improve  8 months=brain spurt occursabilities to crawl and search for hidden objects and ppl  12 months=walking - visual cortex 3months-looking longer at facelike vs. nonface like stimuli - auditory cortex more sensitive to human voices and language input form caregivers - prefrontal cortex 5-7 yrs=development, appearance of executive processes - adolescence associated w/ social behaviour  puberty=abrupt changes in interior limbic and paralimbic areas (amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex)=associated w/ social and emotional processing  lateral prefrontal region=no growth spurt at puberty but continues gradual development until late adolescence early adulthood=executive functioning  socioemotional processing improves suddenly (early adolescence) & impulse control more gradually=adolescents’ emotional lability and risk taking  early adulthood=gradual maturing of lateral prefrontal region=better balance between two systems=less risk taking Hemispheric Specialization - cerebral hemispheres: two halves of the brain’s cerebrum, left and right - corpus callosum: band of nerve fibers that connects two hemispheres of brain anatomically different and control different functions  not complete separation –both play some role in most functions, when one side suffers damage=other half takes over some of tis functions - lateralization: process by which each half of the brain becomes specialized for certain functions - right hemisphere  controls left side of body  processes visual-spatial info, nonspeech sounds, and perception of faces, emotional info, activated in emotions that make ppl turn away or withdraw (distress, disgust, fear) - left hemisphere  controls simple movement in right side of body  activated in “approach” emotions (joy, interest, anger  language processing - degree to which ppls brain lateralized=genetic component: parents and children=usually similar lvls of language lateralization - begins early in life  if children exp. brain injury=often recover cuz brain not fully developed  adults have great deal of modifiability –has capacity to regenerate nerve cells Neurons and Synapses th - most neurons present in brain by 7 month after conception - neuron proliferation: rapid formation of neurons in developing organism’s brain –during embryonic period - after birth=brain increases in size=existing neurons grow and connections increase - glial cells: supports, protects, and repairs neurons  some responsible for myelination: process by which glial cells encase neurons in sheaths of fatty substance myelin=makes neurons more efficient in transmitting info  most occurs during first 2 yrs, some continues into adulthood - neural migration: movement of neurons w/in brain that ensures that all brain areas have sufficient # of neural connections - synapse: specialized site of intercellular communication, exchanges info between nerve cells, usually by means of chemical neurotransmitter - synaptogenesis: forming of synapses - brain programmed to create more neurons and connection than it needs, two processes to reduce # 1) programmed neuronal death: naturally occurring death of immature nerve cells during early development of nervous system 2) synaptic pruning: brain’s disposal of axons and dendrites of neuron that is not often stimulated  all to increase speed, efficiency, and complexity of transmissions, allow room for new connections as children encounter new exp. Brain Development and Experience - two types of processes that influence brain’s development 1) experience-expectant processes: brain processes that are universal, experienced by all human beings across evolution 2) experience-dependent processes: brain processes that are unique to individual and responsive to particular cultural, community, and family experiences - lack of stimulation or exposure to traumatic events=damage brain and cause malfunction  figure 3.3, p.82 Mirror Neurons and the Social Brain - mirror neurons: nerve cell that fires both when a person acts and when a person observes same action performed by someone else, as if observer themselves were acting - found in monkeys, and activity consistent in specific brain areas in humans: motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, and inferior frontal gyrus human mirror neuron system - clear links to social behaviour  important for learning new skills by imitation  understanding other ppl’s actions and intentions - language acquisition, development of theory-of-mind skills, feelings of empathy  ppl report more empathetic=stronger activation  problems w/ this system may underlie cognitive disorders (e.g., autism=deficiencies in social skills) - found in the social brain: network of brain regions involved in understanding other ppl  figure 3.4, p.84: medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), temporoparietal junction (TPJ), superior temporal sulcus (STS), interparietal sulcus (IPS), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), anterior insula (AI), and amygdala - mPFC seems to have special role in understanding own and others’ communicative intentions  enables to encode social event knowledge=plan an
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