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Chapter 11

Chapter 11.doc

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Dan Dolderman

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PSY100 - Chapter 11 - HUMAN DEVELOPMENT • Genie --> feral child • looked to be 6-7 years but was actually 13 • could not do anything that required the full attention of her limbs • virtually no human contact or stimulation from the external world • able to develop only most rudimentary language skills • shows experiences role in shaping brain development and psychological capacities Developmental psychology: concerned with changes, over the lifespan in physiology, cognition and social behaviour. What shapes a child? • genes set pace and order of development but environment also influences what happens through development • culture influences time that developmental milestones are reached ex  children in Uganda walk by about 10 months but in France when 15 months  • environment determines which of a persons genes are expressed and how they are expressed • 2 weeks - 2 months ---> developing human = embryo (internal organs begin to form) • 2months + = fetus ----> physical growth • genes + environment in womb govern much of human nervous systems prenatal development • brains nerve cells develop in specific sequence in first seven months of gestation • basic brain areas form by week 4 • at birth ----> brain has cortical layers, connections among its neurons and myelination • but brain continues to develop throughout lifespan • hormones that circulate the womb influence the developing fetus  ex, not enough thyroid = lower IQ = diminish intellectual development  mothers emotional state (stress) can also influence developing fetus • TERATOGENS (environmental influences) : can impair physical and cognitive development in the womb. ex = drugs, alcohol, bacteria, viruses and chemicals  extent of damage depends on when the fetus is exposed to it ^  1950s - thalidomide (drug) to ease pregnancy symptoms = caused birth defects --->limb deformities  Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) ---> low birth weight, face and head abnormalities, slight mental retardation, behavioural and cognitive problems  no minimal amount of alcohol has been determined safe for pregnant women • Newborns can see, smell, hear, taste and respond to touch BUT skills are not fully developed at birth • can still process some sensory stimuli • small range of visual acuity = adaptive ---> focus on most important things= beginning of childs social interaction • rooting reflex = turning and sucking infants do when a nipple or similar object touches an area near their mouth • at birth = brain developed to perform basic reflexes but further development necessary for cognitive development • early brain growth:  specific areas w/in brain mature and become functional  regions of brain learn to communicate w/ one another through synaptic connections • myelination ----> way in which brain circuits mature  begins on spinal cord ---> first trimester of pregnancy and brains neurons in 2nd  way of insulating wires ---> development of myelin sheath on nerve cells  occurs in different brain regions at different stages of development • myelinated axons form synapses w/ other neurons ---> more than infant will use • brain uses " use it or lose it" policy ----> SYNAPTIC PRUNING  frequently used connections = preserved  unused ones = decay and disappear  Occurs in different areas of brain at different times  synaptic density highest in auditory cortex ~ 3  highest in visual cortex ~ 1 and 2  highest in prefrontal cortex ~ 6  after adolescents density of synapses = constant around auditory, visual and prefrontal • brain = highly plastic ---> hard- wired to adapt to different environments • by age 4 brain grows from 350g to 1250g ( 80% size of adult)  increase in size b/c of myelination and new synaptic connections btwn neurons • rats raised in enriched environment = greater brain development • malnourished children = less myelination ---> less energy = less stimulation by environment • critical periods: biologically determined time periods for the development of specific skills  young animals can acquire specific skills and kinds of knowledge ONLY in this time period. not in time period = NOT LEARNED • Critical period for language ~ before 12  genie not able to learn full language but learned some in later stage of life • Sensitive periods: biologically determined time periods when specific skills develop most easily • children shaped by biology but also by early interactions with other people (caregivers)  what child eats  where it sleeps  social connections it makes • humans born immature • infants = highly interactive social relationships  within 10 weeks infants affected by caregivers facial expression • attachment: strong, emotional connection that persists over time and across circumstances • chickens, geese and ducks attach themselves to adult (imprinting) • harry harlow -----> monkeys  mother = secondary reinforcement ( role of providing food)  placed infant rhesus monkeys in cage w/ different mother ---> pad cloth and wire  only went to wire mother for food---> always on cloth mother • Ainsworth experiment  strange - situation test  3 types of child attachment  secure: most children ---> happy to play alone and friendly to stranger BUT distressed when attachment figure leaves  avoidant ---> not upset or distressed by attachment figure departure ---> ignores when comes back  anxious - ambivalent :least! ---> always anxious (me) clings to attachment figure when in the room and very upset when he/she leaves  when returns = seek/ reject caring contact  *Disorganized attachment : infants give mixed responses when caregivers leave and return after short absence.  Emotionally/ behaviourally inconsistent caregivers tend to have kids w/ anxious -a  rejecting caregivers tend to have kids w/ avoidant  caregivers personality only contributes to childs attachment style (NOT CAUSE) • Hormone (OXYTOCIN) = related to social behaviours ---> infant/ caregivers attachment  plays role in maternal tendencies ---> feelings of social acceptance, bonding and sexual gratification  promotes behaviour that satisfies survival of the young ex. infant sucking = release of oxytocin in mother = stimulate biological functions = move milk into milk ducts = infant can nurse How do Children Learn? • experiments:  preferential - looking technique = infants look at object it finds more interesting longer  orienting reflex: humans tendency to pay more attention to new stimuli than stimuli that they have become grown used to. • ability to disti
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