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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Summary & Terms

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Western University
Psychology 2040A/B
Ian Mac Donald

CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY An Overview of MaturationGrowth y The body is constantly changing between infancy and childhoody Height and weight increase rapidly during the first two yearsy Growth becomes more gradual across middle childhood y In early adolescence there is a rapid growth spurt when height and weight again increase rapidlyy The shape of the body and body proportions also change because various body parts grow at different ratesy Physical development follows a cephalocaudal headdownward and a proximodistal centeroutward direction structures in the upper and central regions of the body mature before those in the lower and peripheral regionsy Skeletal and muscular development parallel the changes occurring in height and weighty Bones become longer and thicker and gradually harden completing their growth and development by the late teensy Skeletal age is an excellent measure of physical maturationy Muscles increase in density and size particularly during the growth spurt of early adolescencey Physical growth is quite uneven or asynchronous o The brain the reproductive system and the lymph tissues mature at different rateso There are also sizable individual and cultural variations in physical growth and developmentDevelopment of the Brainy A brain growth spurt occurs during the last 3 months of the prenatal period and the first 2 years of lifey Neurons form synapses with other neuronsGlia form to nourish the neurons and encase them in myelina waxy material that y speeds the transmission of neural impulsesy Many more neurons and synapses are formed than are needed o Those that are used often will survive o Neurons that are stimulated less often either die or lose their synapses and stand in reserve to compensate for brain injuriesy Up until puberty the brain shows a great deal of plasticity this allows it to change in response to experience and to recover from many injuriesy The highest brain center or cerebrum consists of two hemisphere connected by the corpus callosumy Each hemisphere is covered by a cerebral cortexy The brain may be lateralized at birth so that the two hemispheres assume different functionsy Children come to rely increasingly on one particular hemisphere or the other to perform each function
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