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Chapter 4: Physical Development in Infancy ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Life-Span Development Twelfth Edition.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4: Physical Development in Infancy ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Life-Span Development Twelfth Edition."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4: Physical Development in Infancy ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Life-Span Development Twelfth Edition

2  Patterns of Growth:  Cephalocaudal Pattern: sequence in which the earliest growth always occurs from the top downward ▪Also applies to gains in motor development  Proximodistal Pattern: sequence in which growth starts in the center of the body and moves toward the extremities ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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4  Forebrain: portion of the brain farthest from the spinal cord; includes cerebral cortex  Cerebral Cortex: folded surface covering the forebrain  Cerebral cortex is divided into 2 hemispheres, each with 4 lobes ▪Frontal lobe: voluntary movement, thinking, personality, and intentionality ▪Occipital lobe: vision functions ▪Temporal lobe: hearing, language processing, and memory ▪Parietal lobe: spatial location, attention, and motor control ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

5  Lateralization: specialization of function in one hemisphere of the cerebral cortex or the other  Some functions are lateralized, some are not ▪Complex functions involve communication between both hemispheres ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

6  Neurons: brain nerve cells that communicate through electrical and chemical signals  Axons carry signals away from the cell body  Dendrites carry signals toward the cell body  Myelin sheath is a layer of fat cells that insulate axons ▪Helps electrical signals travel faster  Terminal buttons release chemicals (neurotransmitters) into synapses ▪Synapses: tiny gaps between neurons ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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8  Changes in Neurons:  Myelination: the process of encasing axons with fat cells ▪Begins prenatally and continues into adolescence  Connectivity among neurons increases ▪New dendrites grow ▪Connections among dendrites increase ▪Synaptic connections increase  More synaptic connections are created than will ever be used ▪Leads to a “pruning” of unused connections ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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10  Changes in regions of the brain:  “Blooming and pruning” of synapses varies by brain region  Pace of myelination varies as well ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

11  Depressed brain activity has been found in children who grow up in a deprived environment  Enriched environments promote faster brain development than deprived ones  After birth: sights, sounds, smells, touches, language, and eye contact help shape the brain’s neural connections  Repeated experience wires (and rewires) the brain  Brain is both flexible and resilient ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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13  Dynamic Systems View:  Infants assemble motor skills for perceiving and acting ▪Motor skills represent solutions to goals  Development is an active process in which nature and nurture work together ▪Development of nervous system ▪Body’s physical properties and possibilities for movement ▪Goal the child is motivated to reach ▪Environmental support for the skill ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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15  Development in the 2 nd Year:  Toddlers become more skilled and mobile  Motor activity is vital to the child’s development of competence and independence  By months, toddlers can: ▪Walk quickly or run stiffly ▪Balance on their feet in a squat position ▪Walk backward ▪Stand and kick a ball without falling ▪Jump in place ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

16  Cultural Variations: mothers in developing countries tend to stimulate their infants’ motor skills more than mothers in more modern countries  Infants can reach motor milestones slightly earlier if provided with physical guidance or given opportunities for exercise  Even when activity is restricted, many infants still reach milestones at a normal age ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

17  Fine Motor Skills: involve finely tuned movements  Reaching and grasping is a significant milestone for infants  Palmer grasp: grasping with the whole hand  Pincer grip: grasping with the thumb and forefinger  Perceptual-motor coupling is necessary for infants to coordinate grasping  Experienced infants look at objects longer, reach for them more, and are more likely to mouth the objects ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

18  Visual Preference Method: infants look at different things for different lengths of time  They look at preferred objects longer  Habituation: decreased responsiveness to a stimulus after repeated presentations  Dishabituation: recovery of a habituated response after a change in stimulation ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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20  Habituation and Dishabituation Studies:  High-amplitude sucking  Orienting response  Tracking  Videotaping  Recording heart rate, respiration, body movement, sucking behavior, visual fixation ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

21  Newborn’s vision is about 20/600 (an object 20 feet away appears as if it were 600 feet away)  By the age of 6 months, vision is 20/100 or better  Vision approximates that of an adult by the infant’s first birthday  Infants show an interest in human faces soon after birth  The way they gather information about the visual world changes rapidly with age ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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24  Eleanor Gibson and Richard Walk studied development of depth perception using a “visual cliff”  Infants 6-12 months old can distinguish depth  Infants 2-4 months old show heart rate difference when placed on deep side of cliff  Infants develop binocular depth cues by about 3- 4 months of age ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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26  Fetuses can hear and learn sounds during the last two months of pregnancy and can recognize their mother’s voice at birth  Newborns:  Cannot hear soft sounds as well as adults  Are less sensitive to pitch  Are fairly good at determining the location of a sound ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

27  Touch and Pain: newborns respond to touch and can feel pain  Smell: newborns can differentiate odors ▪Preference for mother’s smell by 6 days  Taste: sensitivity to taste may be present before birth ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

28  Intermodal Perception: the ability to integrate information from two or more sensory modalities  Babies are born with some innate abilities to perceive relations among senses  Their abilities improve considerably through experience  Perceptual–Motor Coupling: action guides perception, and perception guides action ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


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