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Infancy & Childhood Memorize Fig. 14.1 In humans, the brain is immature at birth. As the child matures, the neural networks grow increasingly more complex.

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Presentation on theme: "Infancy & Childhood Memorize Fig. 14.1 In humans, the brain is immature at birth. As the child matures, the neural networks grow increasingly more complex."— Presentation transcript:

1 Infancy & Childhood Memorize Fig In humans, the brain is immature at birth. As the child matures, the neural networks grow increasingly more complex (m 177) c 172. The developing brain overproduces neurons, peaking at 28 weeks then subsiding to a stable 23 billion at birth. (de Courten-Myers, 2002.) This process is called pruning, and can be affected by the intrauterine environment (m 177 c 172). The association areas (cerebrum) are the last critical areas to develop. Neural pathways supporting language and agility proliferate into puberty. The sequence of physical development is universal. For example, the recommended infant back-to-sleep position to reduce the risk of crib death is associated with later crawling but not later walking. (Lipsitt, 2003 m178 c 173).

2 Brain Maturation & Infant Memory What causes infantile amnesia? The brain area underlying memory, such as the hippocampus & the frontal lobes, are the last to mature, continuing to adolescence. The average age of the earliest conscious memories is 3.5 years. (Bauer, 2007m 178 c 173). We consciously recall little (declarative memory) but other parts of the brain learn and remember. Fig. 14.3: Babies only 3 months old can learn that kicking moves a mobile, and they can retain that learning for a month. Rovee-Collier, 1997 (m 178 c f5,7 173). British adults who learned Hindi or Zulu when small could relearn the subtle sound contrasts in these languages that pure British speakers could not. (Bower et al., 2009 m178 c 173).

3 Cognitive Development When administering children's intelligence tests in Paris 1920, Jean Piaget became intrigued by how consistent their wrong answers were. His conclusion: Children reason differently than adults, often in wildly illogical ways. A maturing brain builds schemas, mental models of reality. We assimilate new experiences that fit our schemas, and accomodate those that do not. Memorize Table 14.1: Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development(m 180 c f ). The sensorimoter stage is marked by the arrival of object permanence and stranger anxiety. But babies can do physics (Baillargeon, 2008) & math (Fig. 14.8, Wynn, 1992 m 181 c f ).

4 Piaget: Preoperational Fig Piaget's test of conservation. A preoperational child does not understand the principle of conservation of substance. This is because she can hold only one abstract concept in her mind at a time, such as height. How many adults can hold height, width, mass, velocity, and acceleration in their minds in order to understand the mechanics of a curve ball m 182 c f )? Piaget contended that preschool children are egocentric. They have difficulty perceiving objects and events from another's point of view. Adults struggle with the curse of knowledge. (Kruger et al., 2005 m 182 m 177) This leads to theory of mind. (Fig ). Between 3.5 and 4.5 years, children come to realize that others may hold false beliefs. (Sabbagh et al., 2006 m 183 cf )

5 Piaget: Concrete Operational By age 6 or 7, children enter the concrete operational stage, given physical materials to work with. By age 12, our reasoning expands from the purely concrete (involving actual experience) to abstract thinking (Latin: ab + trahere = 'to draw out' of experience). They can ponder hypothetical situations and deduce conclusions. 'If + then = or else ='. Vygotsky had a differene approach to child learning. Whether out loud or inaudibly, talking to themselves helps children control their behaviour and emotions and learn new skills, by modelling their world internally through their birth language. He emphasized how a child's mind grew by interacting with the social environment. New words create a scaffold by which children reach higher levels of thinking.

6 Autism & Mind Blindness Autism is a disorder marked by social deficiencies and repetitive behaviours. Autistic Spectrum Disorders affect 1 in 110 in America; 1 in 100 in Britain. The underlying source of autism's symptoms seems to be poor communication among brain regions that normally work together to let is take another's viewpoint. Most children learn that a pouting mouth signals sadness, and the twinkling eyes mean happiness or mischief. A child with autism fails to understand such signals. (Frith & Frith, 2001 m p 184 c 180). Assume that any reference in the Autism inset is fair game for the next exam; you can use them in your long essay.

7 Autism & Mind Blindness Asperger's syndrome is part of ASD, marked by exceptional skill or talent in a specific area, normal verbal/analytical intelligence, but deficient social & communication skills & a tendency to become distracted by irrelevant stimuli. Autism afflicts four boys to every one girl. Children for whom amniotic fluid analyses indicate high prenatal testosterone develop more masculine and autistic traits. (Auyeung et al., 2009) Girls are better at reading facial expressions of emotion, though less so if given testosterone. (van Honk et al., 2011) Why the increase in ASD? Simon Baron-Cohen theorizes assortative mating (like attracts like).

8 Autism & Mind Blindness If one identical twin is diagnosed with autism, chances are 50-70% that the other twin will also.(Lichtenstein et al., 2010) A younger sibling of a child with autism is also at risk. An over-40 man who fathers a child has a much higher risk of ASD than an under-30 man. ((Richenberg et al., 2007) People without autism often yawn if they see another yawn. Not so among those with ASD who are less imitative and show much less activity in brain areas mirroring others' actions. (Perra et al., 2008). ASD people, watching another's hand movements, their brain displays less than normal mirroring activity. (Oberman & Ramachandran, 2007). Study Fig ; the graph indicates the value of the intervention therapy.

9 Social Development At about age 8 months, soon after object permanence emerges and children become mobile, they develop stranger anxiety. According to Piaget, children this age have schemas for familiar faces; when they cannot assimilate a new face into their schema, they become distressed. Attachment is a powerful survival impulse that keeps infants close to their caregivers. Fig 14:12 The Harlow monkey experiments proved that infants need physical contact as much as physical nourishment. Much parental-infant emotional communication occurs via touch. (Hertenstein et al., 2006 m 188 c 183) As we mature, our secure base and safe haven shift from parents to peers and partners. (Cassidy & Shaver, 1999 m 188 c 183 ).

10 Social Development In many animals, attachments base on familiarity form during a critical period (of brain growth), an optimal period when certain events must take place. (Bornstein, 1989 m 188 c 183) For birds (and probably most dinosaurs) this rigid attachment process is called imprinting. Children do not imprint, but mere exposure to people can create fondness. For therapists and counsellors, the most important symptoms to watch for are signs of insecure attachment. In the therapist's office, suspected insensitive, unresponsive mothers are separated from their children for a short time. When she leaves, they either cry loudly and remain upset or seem indifferent to her departure and return. (Kagan, 1995 m 189 c 184). Fig : In the Harlows' experiments, monkeys raised only with wire mothers were terror stricken when place with other young monkeys; they are cowered or attacked (m 189 c f ).

11 Attachment Differences What is the relationship of attachment to temperament? Dutch researcher Dympha van den Boom randomly selected 100 temperamentally difficult 6 to 9 month-olds to an experimental group, in which the mothers received personal training in sensitive responding, or to a control group. (m 190 c 185) At 12 months of age, 68% of the infants in the experimental group were rated securely attached, while only 28% were rated so in the control group. Father care: Across nearly 100 studies worldwide, a father's love and acceptance have comparable to a mother's in predicting their off-springs' health and well-being. (Flouri & Buchanan, 2004). Children's separation anxiety peaks at 13 months, then levels off. See Fig (m 190 c f ).

12 Deprivation of Attachment I n 1980's Romania, unwanted children filled orphanages. Child- to-caregiver ratios were often 15 to 1. When tested after 1989, these children had below-average intelligence scores and double the 20% rate of anxiety symptoms found in children assigned to quality foster care settings. (Nelson et al., 2009 (m 191 c 186). Most victims of child sexual abuse are resilient, becoming normal adults. (Clancy, 2010m 191 c 186). In a primate experiment, 9 of 16 females who had been abused by their mothers became abusive parents, but no female raised by a non-abusive mother did. Abused children are hyper-sensitive to angry faces, and exhibit stronger startle responses. (Jovanovic et al., 2009 m 192 c 187). Abused hamsters show a slow serotonin response. (Ferris, 1996).

13 Self-Concept According to Eric Ericsson, childhood's major acheivement is a positive sense of self. Mirror images fascinate infants from the age of about six months. Only at 18 months, however, does the child recognize that the image in the mirror is 'me'. By 15 to 18 months, children begin to touch their own noses when they see a colored spot on the mirror. (Butterworth, 1992). By school age, children's self-concept has blossomed into more detailed descriptions that include their gender, group memberships, psychological traits, similarities and differences with other children. (Stipek, 1992 m 194 c 188). By 8 or 10, a healthy child's self-image is quite stable.

14 Parenting Style Authoritarian parents impose rules and expect obedience. Predictably, child rebellion occurs in North America, and this causes authoritarian parents to live in a constant state of crisis. Permissive parents submit to their childrens' desires, making few demands, and using little punishment. The main problem the child will have is boundary issues. Authoritative parents are both demanding and responsive. They set rules and enforce them, but always take the time to explain the reason for the rules. Children with the highest self-esteem, self-reliance and social competence usually come from authoritative parents. (Sorkhabi, 2005 m 195 c 189). Both parent and child may have genes that promote social competence. (South et al., 2008 m 195 c 190).

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