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Textbook Notes - Week 7.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ashley Waggoner Denton

PSY 100 Textbook NotesWeek 7 Ch 11 pp 481531 development Ch 10 pp 416435 emotion Ch 10 pp 609613 personality is adaptiveDevelopment Starts in the WombPHYSICAL DEVELOPMENTGenes in combination with the environment in the womb govern much of the human nervous systems prenatal developmentMost brain nerve cells develop in a specific sequence in the first seven months of gestation o Basic brain areas form by week 4 o Cells that form cortex visible by week 7 o Thalamus and hypothalamus cells present by week 10 o Cells that will form hemispheres present by week 12 tho By the 7 month the fetus has a working nervous systemBrain development does not stop at birthit continues throughout childhood and into old ageHormones in the womb influence the developing fetus o Insufficient hormone production by the thyroid puts the fetus at risk for lower IQ and intellectual development o Mothers who are unusually anxious or upset may expose the fetus to high levels of stress hormones which interfere with normal development producing low birth weight TERATOGENSTeratogens Environmental agents that harm the embryo or fetus including drugs alcohol bacteria viruses and chemicalsThalidomide given to ease morning sickness caused various birth defects such as limb deformities o Disorders caused by teratogens such as those involving language or reason will not be as readily apparent as physical damagesFetal alcohol syndrome manifests itself as low birth weight face and head abnormalities mental retardation and behavioural and cognitive problemsBrain Development Promotes LearningBabies come prewired with tools to survive such as the grasping reflex likely helpful for our primate ancestors to stay clung to their mothers and rooting reflex the turning and sucking when a nipple or similar object touches an area near the mouthFurther brain development appears necessary for cognitive development to occur MYELINATION AND NEURONAL CONNECTIONSSynaptic pruning A process whereby the synaptic connections in the brain that are frequently used are preserved and those that are not are lostEarly brain growth has two important aspects Specific areas within the brain mature and become functional and regions of the brain learn to communicate with one another through synaptic connections PSY 100Myelination begins on the spinal cord during the first trimester of pregnancy and on the brains neurons during the second trimesterMyelinated axons form synapses with other neurons more connections are made than the infant will use o The frequently used connections are preserved o The unused connections decaySynaptic density is highest in the auditory cortex around age three the visual cortex around ages one and two and in the prefrontal cortex around age sixOnce connections are well establish by increasing myelination the brain makes them more permanentThe brain is plastichard wired to adapt to varied situationsMalnourished children have less myelination but also lack energy to interact with the environment to stimulate further brain development SENSITIVE LEARNING PERIODSKey to learning is the creation of connection among certain neurons and that certain connections are made most easily during particular times in development assuming the right stimuli are providedCritical Periods Biologically determined time periods for the development of specific skills o If a skill is not developed in this time period it will not be developed at allSensitive Periods Biologically determined time periods when specific skills develop most easily o Critical periods seem to rigid but definitely skills develop easier at different periodsAttachment Promotes Survival Attachment A strong emotional connection that persists over time and across circumstancesInfant attachment leads to heightened feelings of safety and security and motivates the infant and caregiver to remain in close contactInfants seem to have an innate repertoire of attachment behaviours that motivate adult attentionAdults also seem predisposed to respond to infants ATTACHMENT IN OTHER SPECIESSome bird species have a critical period in which infants become strongly attached to a nearby adult even one from another speciesWithin about 18 hours of hatching these birds will attach themselves to an adult and then follow the object of their attachment called imprinting by Konrad LorenzHarry Harlow showed monkeys will prefer to spend time with a cloth soft monkey type object rather than a bare wire object that will dispense milk they would only approach the wire mother when hungry o This debunked the theory of the mother as foodprovider being the source of attachment ATTACHMENT STYLEAttachment behaviours begin during the first months of life and have been observed in children around the world although normal attachment varies from culture to cultureInfants will display separation anxiety when they cannot see their attachment figures
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