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Chapter 5

PSY 1305 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Autism Spectrum, Synaptic Pruning

Course Code
PSY 1305
Danielle Young

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Chapter 5: development through the life span
Development is life long
What do developmental psychologist do? Nature and nurture, continuity and stages, stability and
Development: conception through death
Pre-natal: before birth
Zygote: fertilized egg, has the chromosomes, 2-week period of rapid cell division
Embryo: 2-8 weeks after conception, zygote implant into uterine wall, cells develop into organs
and bones, 2 weeks after fertilization through second month, a lot of miscarriage can happen
now, teratogens can harm fetus (pay a lot of attention to this)
Fetus: next 6 weeks, body organs begin to really form and function, and by 9 weeks, the fetus is
a human.
What is the youngest age can a premature baby survive? It depends, with modern advancements
we are able to support better care, cut off is about 22 weeks.
Teratogen: agent, such as a chemical or virus, that can reach the embryo or fetus during the
prenatal development and cause harm, ex: alcohol, drugs, fish, Accutane, skin prescriptions, deli
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS): physical and mental abnormalities in children caused by a
pregnant woman’s heavy drinking, in severe cases, signs include a small, out of proportion head
and abnormal facial features, hyperactivity, learning problems, intellectual disabilities, alcohol
can turn on or off genes so changes the course of development.
Laugh: two months
Pedal a tricycle: 24 months
Sit without support: 5-6 months
Feel ashamed: 2 years
Walk: 1 year
Stand on one foot: 4 and a half years
Smile at mom and dad: 4-5 months
Kick ball: 20 months or about 2 years
Think about things that cannot be seen: 2 or 3 years
Two word sentences: 20-22 months
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Newborn: automatic reflex responses that support survival (survival reflex: sucking, Rooting
reflex: if a baby doesn’t have them then there is a neurological problem, touch cheek and turn
towards stimulus), cry to elicit help and comfort, searches for sights and sounds linked to other
humans, smells and sees well and uses sensory equipment to learn, prefer to look at objects that
are 8-12 inches away (between infants’ eyes and mothers eyes)
Brain cells are sculpted by heredity and experience
Birth: neural growth spurt and synaptic pruning (eliminating the weaker connection or the
ones that we do not use anymore, strengthens the strong connections that we have)
3-6: rapid frontal lobe growth and continued growth into adolescence and beyond
Early childhood: critical period for skills (language and vision)
Throughout life: learning changes brain tissue
Motor skills: develop as nervous system and muscles mature, universal sequence, guided by
genes and influenced by environment
Physical development: brain maturation and infant memory, infants are capable of learning and
remembering, infantile amnesia may reflect memory, someone attached a ribbon to an infant’s
foot and see how many times the infant would kick their foot, and then do it a few weeks later if
the infants remembered what the ribbon did with their mobile
Maturation: development and changes in behavior
Earliest conscious memory: around three and a half
Piaget: cognitive development, children are active thinkers, mind develops through series of
universal, irreversible stages, children’s maturing brains build schemas
Schemas: how we organize different concepts, think of it like having file folders in our brain (a
file for animals with a bunch of dogs)
Assimilate: interpret our new experiences in terms of the existing experience, (referring to a cat
as a dog)
Accommodate: adapting our current schemas to incorporate new information (separating the cat,
and even different types of dogs, into separate things, becoming more precise)
Sensorimotor stage (birth to nearly 2 years): object permanence- awareness that things continue
to exist even when not perceived (peek a boo), notice violations in math and physics, use blocks
and balls, drop ball and surprised when the ball is dropped (not in piaget’s original stage), scale
errors (don’t have that good of a concept on size, watched a video of little girl playing with toys
and then they made toys smaller and she still tried to get into the car and lay on the bed)
Preoperational stage: 2 to 7 years, pretend play (autism kids have trouble pretending things are
something else like a bar of soap is a cell phone), unable to understand conservation of theory of
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