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psyc 2110 chp6.docx

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York University
PSYC 2110
Maxine Wintre

Chp-6 Physical development: the brain, body, motor skills, sexual development • Highly developed areas ( subcortical - lower brain centers - control states of consciousness, inborn reflexes, vital biological functions such as digestion, respiration, elimination ) • Cerebrum and cerebral cortex surround it. Responsible for voluntary bodily movements, perception and higher intellectual activities such as- learning, thinking and production of language • 1st areas of cerebrum to mature are -primary motor areas ( control simple motor activities - waving arms ) AND • Primary sensory areas - control sensory processes- vision, hearing, smelling, tasting • Myelinization- process by which neurons are enclosed in waxy myelin sheaths that will facilitate transmission of neural impulses • Myelin- forms sheath around individual neurons- acts like an insulator to speed transmission of neural impulses- brain communicates more efficiently with diff parts of the body • Development of the brain during adolescence: • Myleinization of the higher brain centres ( cerebrum) it continues into adolescence, increases attention span in adolescents but also explain why they process info much faster than elementary students • Brain volume increases throughout early to mid adolescence then decreases during late adolescence ( synaptic pruning ) • Motor development: • Writers call infants as 'helpless babies' - neonate's inability to move around on their own • End of first month- babies brain n neck muscles mature enough to permit first milestone in locomotor development: lifting their chins while lying flat on their stomachs • Children's motor development tells very less about future developmental outcomes • Trends in Locomotor development: • Motor development proceeds in a cephalocaudal ( head downward) direction , activates involving head, neck, upper extremities preceding those involving legs and lower extremities. • Development is proximodistal ( centre - outward ) activities involving trunk and shoulders appearing before those involving fingers and hands • For ex. When infants change from altering leg kicks to simultaneous kicks, flexed leg movements to extended leg movements • Galloway and thelen suggested that the hip joint is stronger than the shoulder joint hence it is easier to easier to control their legs ( infants) shoulder joint calls for more practice and experience • How do we explain the sequencing and timing of early motor development? • Maturational viewpoint, the experimental ( or practice ) hypothesis, dynamical systems theory 1. Maturational viewpoint- describes motor development as the unfolding of a genetically programmed sequence of events where the nerves and muscles mature in a downward and outward direction • Children gain more control over lower and peripheral body parts, motor skills in sequence • Cross cultural research. Infants from around the world process roughly through the same sequence of motor milestones • The unpraticed twin matched the skills of the co-twin who had many opportunities to practice so practice has no effect on motor skills 1. The experimental ( or practice ) hypothesis- believes that opportunities to practise motor skills are imp • Wayne dennis- maturation is necessary but not sufficient for the development of motor skills • Cross cultural studies tell us that the ages at which infants attain major motor milestones are heavily influenced by parenting practices • Kipsigi infants sit unassisted 5 weeks earlier than infants in western cultures • Brian hopkins compared motor development of white infants in england with the black infants that emigrated to england • Only If their mothers had followed traditions- black infants were faster at sitting, crawling and walking than white babies • Included massaging infants, stretching their limbs, holding them by their arms etc • Why might having your limbs stretched or being held in an upright posture increases motor development? • Babies develop strength in their neck, trunk, legs ( muscular growth ) • 2 factors imp to motor development: 1. maturation and 2. experience 1. Dynamical systems theory- view motor skills as active reorganizations of previously mastered capabilities undertaken to find more effective ways of exploring the environment or satisfying other objectives • Don’t think of motor skills as genetically programmed responses • New walkers spend a fair amount of time on their backsides - toddlers • Why would infants work so hard to acquire new motor skills? They hope to acquire them so that they can get to interesting objects they hope to explore or to accomplish other goals they may have in mind • Goldfied studied- infants of 7-8 months old began to crawl on their hands and knees only after 1) they regularly turned and raised their heads toward interesting insights and sounds 2) developed a distinct arm/hand preference when reaching for such stimuli 3) begun to thrust ( kick) with leg opposite to the outstretched arm • Visual orientation motivates- infant to approach interesting stimuli she cant reach • Reaching steers the body in the right direction and • Kicking the opposite leg propels the body forward FINE MOTOR DEVELOPMENT: • Two aspects of motor development help infants explore the world around them: voluntary reaching and manipulatory ( or hand) skills 1. Development of voluntary reaching: infants come with a grasping reflex • Prereaching it truly hit-or-miss proposition • By 2 months of age palmer reflex disappears and prereaching occurs less often • Babies 3 months of age and older display actions like extend their arms and make in- flight corrections, gradually improving their grasp • Some infants flap their arms at first n must learn to dampen their enthusiasm, others start off reaching tentatively and will soon learn that they must supply more power to grasp their objectives • Infants don’t need to see, they can reach things in the dark that they hear • At 5 months infants are becoming proficient at reaching for and touching 1) stationary illuminated objects that suddenly darken to become invisible as they begin their reaches 1. Glowing objects that move in the dark- even though the infants cant see what their hand are doing • Proprioceptive information- sensory information from muscles, tendons and joints that help one to locate the position of one's body parts in space • This helps infants to guide their arms and hands to any interesting objects
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