Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3: Infancy: Physical and Cognitive Development"— Presentation transcript:
1Chapter 3: Infancy: Physical and Cognitive Development Meredyth Fellows, West Chester University of PA
2The Expanding Brain Cerebral Cortex Outer furrowed mantle of brain Site of every conscious perception, action, thoughtInfluences behavior a few months after birthBrain volume quadruples during first 4 years
3The Expanding Brain Neurons formed during fetal period After birth, synaptogenesis occursProliferation of connections at the synapses (often referred to as exuberant synaptogenesis)Pruning followsMyelination: formation of fatty layer encasing axonsVisual cortex myelinated by 1 yearFrontal lobes, age 20 or beyond
4Neural Pruning and Plasticity Plasticity: The brain is “plastic” (malleable) during early childhood before pruning is complete.Plasticity allows other brain regions to compensate following injury.Brain is less plastic following childhood.
5Basic Newborn States: Reflexes Reflexes: Sucking, Rooting, GraspingAutomatic responses or actions programmed by noncortical brain centersPresent at birth; promote survival
6Nutrition: Breast Milk Recommended for first 6 monthsProtects from diseasesCorrelational studies show that breast-fed babies:are more alert during first 2 weeksexperience fewer gastrointestinal problems and middle ear infectionsare more resistant to colds and fluappear to be superior in later measures of intelligence in elementary school
7Crying: First Communication Signal peak at about 5 weeksReflex dominated before the cortex is “on-line” at 4 monthsVital to survival (responsive parenting is a must!)
8Sleeping: Main Newborn State Newborns, sleep 18 hours a day90% of time in sleep or drowsy stateUnlike adult sleep cycle, newborns drop immediately into REM sleep.Wake every 3-4 hours
9Sleep CyclesBrain-wave patterns and lifespan changes in sleep and wakefulness
10Intervention: Self-Soothing Bidirectional influences: Sleep deprivation contributes to irritability in both parents and the infant.By 6 months, upon waking, infants can self-sooth.What do experts suggest?Erikson & Bowlby: sensitively respond to crying infant during first yearBehaviorists disagree: Do not respond!Ultimately the decision is yours!
11Sensory and Motor Development HearingIn the womb, fetuses can discriminate different tonesSmellWithin the 1st week, infants prefer smell of breast milkTaste:Infants stop sucking and wrinkle face in response to bitter, sour, or salty tastesAvidly suck on sweet solutionsPain management technique - have infant suck on sweet substance
12Focusing on FacesPrefer faces to other stimuli, especially mother’s facePrefer attractive-looking peopleInfants mimic facial expressionsNewborns looked most at theface-like drawing. Are webiologically programmed toselectively look at faces?
13Depth Perception: the Visual Cliff Experiment When 8 month-old babies begin to crawl, they perceive differences in depth and fear heights.Notice survival response!Visual Cliff
14Expanding Body Size and Motor Milestones Growth is most pronounced in infancy, slows down during childhood, increases during pre-adolescenceMotor MilestonesCephalocaudal: lift head, pivot upper body, sit up, standProximodistal: control of shoulders before control of arms and fingersMass-to-Specific: gross motor skills before fine motor skillsImportance of myelination
15Cognitive Development: Piaget Stage ApproachStudied his own childrenSchemasAssimilationAccommodationAdaptation
16Circular Reactions: Sensorimotor Stage Repetitive action-oriented schemas (habits)Through circular reactions, the infant explores and incorporates new information into existing schemas.Primary Circular ReactionsThe infant’s first habits (body-centered)Secondary (about 4 months to 1 year)Infant explores environmentTertiary (begin about 1 year)“Little scientist” activities (baby explores the properties of objects)
17When Infants Begin to Think: Sensorimotor Stage Evidenced byDeferred imitation:When infant repeats an action observed at an earlier timeMeans−end behavior:Occurs about 1 year, when infant performs a different or separate action to reach a goalLimitation in Thinking: A-not-B error:Approaching year 1, even though a baby sees an object hidden in a second hiding place, he/she returns to the originally viewed hiding place to find it!
18Object-Permanence: Sensorimotor Stage Understanding that objects exist even when out of sightAround 5-6 months, infants begin to look for hidden objects.At about 8 months infant develops object permanence (“little-scientist stage”).
19Critiquing Piaget and a New Perspective Understanding of physical reality emerges gradually, not in unitary, qualitatively different stages as Piaget believed.New perspective: information-processingA perspective on understanding cognition that divides thinking into specific steps and component processes, much like a computer
20Emerging Infant Social Cognition Social Cognition: any skill related to understanding feelings and negotiating interpersonal interactions.We make inferences about people’s inner feelings and goals, based on their actions.Research suggests this begins as early as 5 months.Joint AttentionThis is the first sign of “getting human intentions” when a baby looks at an object to which an adult points or the infant follows a person’s gaze.
21Language: Basic Principles Noam Chomsky’s nature-oriented concept: LAD, Language Acquisition DeviceHypothetical brain structure that enables our species to learn and produce languageUnique to our human speciesChomsky’s concept is in opposition to Skinner’s nurture-oriented perspective.We learn language by being reinforced for producing specific words.
22Language: Basic Principles The specific language learned is dependent on nurture—the place where you were reared.Presently, the social-interactionist view:Interactions between baby and caregivers—each wants to communicate, one encourages the otherEmphasis on the social function of language