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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Study guide: Human Development

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael Inzlicht

CHAPTER ELEVEN: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Developmental psychology is concerned with changes in physiology, cognition and social behaviour over the life span the mind develops in ways that are adaptive, as new useful skills appear at appropriate times, even in the absence of specific training every persons life is touched by the lives of others infants innately form bonds with others, an adaptive trait that provides protection and facilitates survival as children grow, they learn how to communicate with and behave ap propriately arou nd others and how to establish and maintain relationships What Shapes a Child? Human development follows a predictable progression during the prenatal period, the body develops in a fixed sequence, ultimately turning into a male or female infant based on genetic instructions all human babies make eye contact quickly after birth display their first social smile at around six weeks learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk and talk (in that order) the consistency of this pattern suggests that our genes set the pace and order of development however, the environment also influences what happens throughout the development process ie, children raised in different cultures often achieve developmental milestones at a different pace healthy children in Uganda walk by 10 months, children in France do not walk for 15 months difference are due in part to different patterns of infant care across cultures genes and experience depend on and affect one another without an environment to trigger gene expression, a human does not develop into a fully functioning member of human society Development Starts in the Womb first two months, developing human is known as an embryo internal organs such as heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, sex organs and nervous system begins to form after two months, called a fetus undergoes a great deal of physical growth as the whole body takes its infant form the final trimester puts the finishing touches on the human if healthy, capable of survival outside the womb Physical Development genes govern much of the prenatal development of the human nervous system most of the brains nerve cells develop in a specific sequence in the first 7 months of gestation week 4: the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain begin to form week 7: the cells that will form the cortex are visible week 10: the thalamus and hypothalamus are visible week 12: the basal ganglia and the left and right hemispheres 7thmonth: fetus has a working nervous system birth: the brain is complex, it has cortical layers, neuronal connectivity and myelination the brain continues to develop throughout childhood into adulthood hormones that circulate in the womb influence the developing fetus www.notesolution.com if the mothers thyroid does not produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormones, the fetus is at risk for lower IQ and diminished intellectual development the mothers emotional state can also affect the developing fetus the level of testosterone in the womb are correlated with a range of behaviours later in childhood, from making eye contact to developing vocabulary speculate that maternal hormones may play an important role in autism, a communication and cognitive disorder Teratogens environmental influences may have adverse effects on the developing fetus drugs, alcohol and illness can all impair physical and cognitive development teratogens teratogens are agents (bacteria, viruses, chemicals and drugs) that can cause abnormal development in the womb the extent to which a teratogen causes damage depends on when the fetus is exposed to it, as well as the length and amount of exposure exposure to a teratogen at about 4 weeks of age can interfere with the proper development of the brain ie, excessive consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, the symptoms include low birth weight, face and head abnormalities, slight mental retardation and behavioural and cognitive problems even small amounts of alcohol can be problematic ie, smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight, spontaneous abortion or birth defects physical effects of exposure to certain teratogens may be obvious at birth, but language or reasoning disorders may not become apparent until the child is older Brain Development Promotes Learning newborns come into the world able to see, smell, hear, taste and respond to touch these skills are not fully developed at birth but the newborn is capable of processing some sensory stimuli young infants also have a reasonably acute sense of smell ie, in studies infants turned their heads toward a pad containing their own mothers milk but not toward pads containing milk from other breast-feeding mothers sense of hearing in young infants is quite good too ie, infants are startled by loud sounds and often will turn their bodies toward the source of sound sense of hearing is must greater than their sense of vision infants sense of vision is quite limited the range of their visual acuity is 8-12 inches may be adaptive, since it encourages the infant to focus on what is most important (mothers face & breast) and promotes the beginnings of social interaction for the child perceptual skills of newborns increase tremendously over the first few months of life newborns have a variety of basic reflexes that aid survival an innate reflex is the rooting reflex, the automatic turning and sucking that infants engage in when a nipple or similar object is near their mouths some believe that these reflexes pave the way for learning more complicated behaviour patterns such as feeding oneself or walking the brain is sufficiently developed at birth to support basic reflexes, but it appears that further brain development is necessary for cognitive development to occur early brain growth has 2 components www.notesolution.com
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