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Prenatal Period and the Newborn. Examines how people are continually developing – physically, cognitively, and socially –from infancy through old age.

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Presentation on theme: "Prenatal Period and the Newborn. Examines how people are continually developing – physically, cognitively, and socially –from infancy through old age."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prenatal Period and the Newborn

2 Examines how people are continually developing – physically, cognitively, and socially –from infancy through old age Methods used to study developmental psychology: Cross-sectional studies Longitudinal studies Biographical/Retrospective studies Reconstructing a person's past through interviews and inferring the effects of past events on current behaviors

3 Nature v. Nurture: How do genetic inheritance (our nature) and experience (our nurture) influence our behavior? Continuity v. Stages: Is development a gradual, continuous process or a sequence of separate stages? Stability v. Change: Do our early personality traits persist through life, or do we become different persons as we age?

4 Conception: A single sperm cell penetrates the outer coating of the egg and fuses to form one fertilized egg Prenatal Period: Conception to Birth Zygote: Term used to describe a developing organism immediately following conception until the embryo stage; First two weeks following conception Embryo: Term used to describe a developing organism between the zygote and fetus stages; Between 3 – 8 weeks following conception Fetus: Term used to describe an organism from 8-40 weeks after conception

5 Fewer than half of all zygotes (fertilized cells) survive beyond the first two weeks Completes journey through fallopian tube and implants in the lining of the uterus 1 st week: Zygote’s cells divide; 100 by end of week Cells begin to differentiate (in structure and function) Nervous system has differentiated into forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain, and spinal cord

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7 Organs begin to form (heart, stomach, liver) Differentiation between male and female happens during this stage

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9 1 inch long, weights.04 ounces Looks human! Myelination occurs around 6 months 7 th month: REM sleep Last few months of pregnancy: Fetus can hear noises outside the mother’s body Newborns show an immediate preference for their mother’s voice Also learn food preferences Fetus receives nutrients and oxygen through the placenta Formed from zygote's outer cells

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13 Harmful agents, such as chemicals and viruses, that can reach the embryo or fetus during prenatal development and cause harm Many are not harmful to the mother, but are harmful to the fetus Examples: Thalidomide: Given to European women during the 1960s to prevent morning sickness Antidepressants Most common: recreational drugs like tobacco and alcohol

14 thalidomideFetal alcohol syndrome

15 Nutrition of mother Anxiety Mother’s general health Maternal age Disease Most genetic abnormalities result in spontaneous abortion or a miscarriage

16 Babies born between weeks are considered typical term births Average 7 pounds at birth; 20 inches in length William James said that the newborn must experience a “blooming, buzzing confusion” We know this is not true! How? Habituation studies Habituation is when an organism decreases their responsiveness to repeated stimulation Infants interest wanes as they are exposed to the same visual stimulus and they look away sooner

17 Babinski: stroking the baby’s foot causes toes to spread out (not sure why!) Blink Moro: If the baby’s head falls backward, the arms first spread out and then “hug” Evolutionary remnant that allows primates to cling to an adult Palamar: Placing an object in the hand produces reflexive grasping (clinging to fur?) Rooting: Stroking a baby’s check results in the baby’s turning toward the touch and opening its mouth Stepping: Placing the baby’s feel on a flat surface initiates stepping Sucking: Anything that touches the roof of its mouth

18 Activity: Sleep hours a day Large time spent in REM (possible explanation for dreams is information processing and development) When awake they alternate between periods of alert looking about and periods of physical movement of the arms and legs 2-3 hours crying Senses: Smell: Have sensitivity to smells (prefer pleasant smells like chocolate and honey); Can recognize the smell of their mother Taste: Have a sweet tooth Hearing: Best for sounds found in the range of frequencies that normally occur in human speech Vision: Do not see detail at as distance very well; Need more contrast than adults do; Prefer large, high-contrast, colorful objects Preference for looking at faces

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