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Chapter 4-6 Psyc311 Dr. Jen Wright

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1 Chapter 4-6 Psyc311 Dr. Jen Wright
Infancy Chapter 4-6 Psyc311 Dr. Jen Wright

2 infant brain

3 one of the last organs to develop…

4 difference between species
EQ Human 7.4 Cat 1.0 Dolphin 5.3 Horse 0.9 Chimpanzee 2.5 Sheep 0.8 Rhesus Monkey 2.1 Mouse 0.5 Elephant 1.9 Rat 0.4 Whale 1.8 Rabbit Dog 1.2  Parrot Humans do not have the largest brain – but they have the largest EQ. Encephalization Quotient (EQ) Average brain mass/body weights for a species. Average for species/average mammalian value. EQ+IQ

5 brain development Most brain development happens outside (instead of inside) the womb Monkey newborn 70% adult size Human newborn 25% adult size Most growth occurs in first 3 yrs 3 yrs old 80% adult size 5 yrs old 90% adult size

6 developmental processes
Neurogenesis – proliferation of neurons through cell division 250,000 cells “born” every minute Synaptognesis – formation of connections Each neuron forms 1000’s of connections Axons elongate towards specific targets Dendritic “trees” increases in size and complexity By 6 months 2 x more synaptic connections

7 developmental processes

8 developmental processes
Synaptic pruning – elimination of excess synapses Streamlines neural processing Without synaptic pruning, children wouldn't be able to walk, talk, or even see properly. Myelination – insulating sheath Happens at different rates into adolescence Certain areas are myelinated first

9 patterns of brain growth

10 importance of experience
Plasticity – brain’s ability to change w/ experience Experience-expectant plasticity (experiences present throughout evolution) Economizes on material encoded in genes Development will occur within a normal range of environments Level of vulnerability in timing Sensitive periods Examples? vision language

11 announcements Psychology Club Event Feedback for in-class debate
Volunteering in the Community 9/29 (next Weds) 5:15pm, ECTR 116 Feedback for in-class debate Group write-ups – pick up after class. Study session for Exam 01 9/29 (next Weds) 7:00pm, ECTR 113 35 MC/TF questions (2pts each) 2 essay q’s (20 pts + 10 pts) – I will give you potential q’s in advance

12 production comprehension

13 both languages 2nd language native language

14 importance of experience
Experience-dependent plasticity (experiences of individual) Brain sculpted by idiosyncratic experiences Responsive to richness of environmental stimuli Important in development of expertise More brain resources dedicated to processing E.g. musicians’ cortical representation of hands

15 effect of deprivation 15

16 effect of deprivation


18 importance of sleep Regular and ample sleep correlates with normal brain maturation, learning, emotional regulation, and psychological adjustment in school and within the family.

19 importance of sleep

20 importance of sleep REM sleep – critical for neural development in brain, esp. for activity-dependent development E.g. visual system Facilitates learning/memory Sleep deprivation linked with later problems E.g. ADHD, learning disabilities Babies most at risk of disruption Premature infants in IC units

21 stress and brain development
Exposure to excessive stress hormones is bad for brain development. Early symptoms of PTSD The brain can become incapable of producing normal stress responses. Hyper-vigilance (Ghosts in the Nursery) Emotional flatness Physical/emotional abuse and neglect can be equally damaging.

22 what is attachment?

23 attachment theory Attachment refers to the close, emotional bond between an infant and his/her primary caregiver. Psychoanalytic Theory (Freud) Driven by oral needs during the first year Emphasized early experiences on later outcomes Behaviorist Perspective (Skinner) Driven by the need for food Learns to associate contact with mother with food Mother’s closeness continually reinforced

24 attachment theory Ethology (Lorenz)
Rooted in Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory Focused on the adaptive value of behavior Bond necessary for survival Imprinting

25 primary criticisms Love (i.e., attachment) seen as secondary to instinctive or survival needs Harlow believed that the need for love and affection was necessary for survival

26 announcments Psyc Club – Volunteering in the Community
Exam study session Weds, 7-9pm, ECTR113 Friday – Ch 4-6 Ask yourself Q’s due How do you want to spend Friday? A) lecture B) ask yourself q’s and study guide! Exam 01- Monday!

27 Harlow’s monkeys (1958) Early work with monkeys Cloth & wire mother
Only one equipped with feeding apparatus Monkeys randomly assigned Observed for 5 months Both groups preferred cloth mother

28 Contact Time with Wire and Cloth Surrogate Mothers
Infant monkey fed on cloth mother 24 . Infant monkey fed on wire mother . . . . 18 . . Hours per day spent with cloth mother . 12 Contact Time with Wire and Cloth Surrogate Mothers . Mean hours per day . 6 . . . . . . . . . . Hours per day spent with wire mother 1-5 11-15 21-25 6-10 16-20 Age (in days)

29 Harlow’s monkeys (1958)

30 attachment theory John Bowlby
Observations of children in institutionalized care Infant has built-in behaviors to keep parent close Gives way to true affectionate bond Serves 2 purposes Secure base Internal working model

31 attachment theory Mary Ainsworth (1979)
Developed Strange Situation Work revealed 4 types of attachment behavior Securely Attached Insecure Avoidant Insecure Resistant Insecure Disorganized

32 internal working model

33 cultural variation

34 social learning

35 facial recognition


37 mirror neurons Found in the frontal and parietal lobes Fire when you
You engage in an activity (reaching out one’s hand) You observe someone else engaging in the same activity. Fire more strongly when action has some purpose or content reaching out one’s hand for a cup. MN’s play a clear role in learning/imitation. May also play a role in “mind-reading” grasping intentions, goals, desires.


39 emotional communication

40 crying Crying –communication of emotion Response to distress Soothing
Development of emotional self-regulation Mastery of environment – agency Biofeedback loop Soothing Swaddling – tight wrapping of baby in cloth Touch Sweet taste Soft, rhythmic sounds Vibration

41 crying disorders Colic (1 in 10 infants; birth – 12 weeks)
Extended periods of intense crying Cause unknown Immature nervous system Hyper-sensitivity Digestive problems Prolonged crying (beyond 12 weeks) Exhibit developmental and behavioral disorders

42 crying disorders Prolonged crying expose the brain to high levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and other damaging chemicals. Damage to hippocampus Reduced levels of vasopressin and serotonin Reduced levels of emotional regulation Impaired memory Increased levels of aggression/violence/bullying Increased levels of anxiety disorders

43 early emotional expression
Earliest emotion global arousal states of attraction and withdrawal set the stage for further development develop into well-organized, sustained signals Basic emotions emotions that can be directly inferred from facial expressions. happiness, interest surprise, fear, anger sadness, disgust 43

44 Basic emotions: Universal across all human cultures Present in other advanced species Include guilt, shame, embarrassment A&B All of the above

45 emotional self-regulation
Strategies for adjusting emotional state to a comfortable (adaptive) level of intensity in order to accomplish goals Infants: withdrawal, distress, crying -- need soothing 4 mos: shift focus of attention 1 year: approach/retreat from stimulus Parent response to distress is important Sympathetic child more easily soothed, more self-regulated Non-responsive (wait to intervene) child enters into rapid, intense distress harder to soothe doesn’t develop self-regulation 45

46 emotional self-regulation
When an infant’s needs are met, they can focus on the world around them and explore. Their brains take in and adapt to stimulation from the external world. When they aren’t met, they become fixated on trying to get their needs met. They stop exploring and shut out other stimulation from the external world.

47 emotions of others Emotional contagion: babies match the emotional expressions of caregiver 7-10 mos: infants perceive facial expressions as organized patterns, can match facial expression to emotion 8-10 mos: social referencing- relying on another person’s emotional reaction to appraise situation (e.g.- visual cliff) Still face experiment 47

48 Mirror neurons help infants experience others’ emotions:
Yes, because they help them match emotional facial expressions Yes, because they stimulate a matching internal experience Yes, because they allow infants to empathize with others. A&B No, because mn’s are only involved in imitation of physical behavior

49 social referencing Example of how adults help child regulate emotion
Permits toddlers to compare their assessments of situations with others Helps young children move beyond simply reacting to emotional messages Visual cliff experiment 49

50 temperament Constitutionally based individual differences in
Emotion Motor function Attentional reactivity Self-regulation Influences the way that children develop, display, and control emotions Foundation for later personality 50

51 temperament styles Types Differences in sociability
Easy Difficult “Slow to warm up” Differences in sociability Differences in punishment/reward Which child will be harder to reward/punish? Easy child Difficult child 51

52 temperament styles What else affects the development of temperament?
Gender Cultural differences Goodness of fit (with parents/environment) 52

53 53

54 54

55 cognitive development

56 theory differences Piaget stage theory Core-knowledge theory
Child as “blank slate” (everything learned) Focus on learning as a process within individuals Core-knowledge theory Child possesses innate knowledge (domains of thought) Socio-cultural theory Focus on learning as a social process between individuals

57 Piaget’s theory Constructivist approach – children actively construct knowledge for themselves in response to their experiences. Child as scientist: Generate hypotheses Perform experiments Draw conclusions Children learn many things on their own without the help of instruction from adults. Children are intrinsically motivated to learn. Discontinuous (qualitative) change different ages think differently.

58 conservation of quantity (1)

59 conservation of quantity (2)

60 Information processing
Computational approach – cognitive development as a passive maturation process that occurs over time. Child as a computational system Children undergo continuous (quantitative) cognitive change Development through increasingly sophisticated hardware and software Faster and more efficient processing, larger memory bank, better learning “algorithms” More content knowledge (learned facts) to draw upon

61 Core-knowledge theories
Child as well-adapted product of evolution Emphasis on sophistication of children’s thinking in areas that have had evolutionary importance. Eg. environment navigation, face recognition, language Naïve physics, psychology, biology Some advanced capacities already present (innate) Move from “general” to “domain specific” specialized learning mechanisms

62 Naïve physics Infants have a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of how the physical world works.


64 understanding intentions
They also have a pretty sophisticated understanding of how the psychological world works e.g., they understand that there are goals and intentions and that only certain creatures can have them.

65 primitive morality ?

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