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Neurological, Physical/Motor Development, and Cognitive Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Neurological, Physical/Motor Development, and Cognitive Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Neurological, Physical/Motor Development, and Cognitive Development

2  On the day you were born, you had most of the brain cells you would ever have (100 billion)  Rapid growth neural connections occurs from ages 3-6 ◦ Most is in your frontal lobes  Myelination also increases in the first few years of life  Pathways supporting language and agility proliferate into puberty ◦ Then a pruning process shuts down excess connections and strengthens others


4  Biological growth processes that enable orderly changes in behavior, relatively uninfluenced by experience ◦ Unfolding of genetic blueprint  Sets the basic course of development; experience adjusts it  Very few things can adjust maturation

5  As an infant’s nervous system and muscles mature, more complicated skills emerge ◦ Often takes place in “fits and starts”  Cephalocaudal Development: Develop from the head to the foot  Proximodistal Development: Develop from the center outward  Motor development is almost universal ◦ Not imitation – blind babies also progress in the same manner ◦ Differences in individual timing do exist but average ages are called developmental norms  Genes play a role in motor development (twins begin sitting up and walking on nearly the same day)  Maturation creates a readiness to walk by age 1 ◦ Experience before that time has a limited effect (also true for bowel and bladder control!)



8  Cognitive development in children has been greatly influenced by the work of Jean Piaget  Began studying development after he had worked on developing questions for intelligence tests ◦ Was interested in the wrong answers children got – they were all very similar!  Studied his own children  Said that children’s minds develop through a series of stages

9  Core principle: Driving force behind our intellectual progression is an unceasing struggle to make sense of our experiences  Schema: A concept or framework that organizes and interprets information  Assimilation: Interpreting our new experiences in terms of our existing schemas (no changes to the existing schema) ◦ Schema for mammals: fur, nurse with milk, live birth  cows, dogs, cats, mice, humans  Accommodation: Adapting our current understandings (schemas) to incorporate new information ◦ ADJUSTING our schemas to fit new information ◦ What the heck is a platypus? Apparently it’s a mammal despite laying eggs and being weird!




13  Sensorimotor Stage (Sensory – Motor)  Preoperational  Concrete Operational  Formal Operational

14  From birth to age 2  Babies take in their world through their senses and actions ◦ Looking, hearing, touching, mouthing, grasping  Sensations evoke motor responses  Live in the present  Lack object permanence until about 8 months: the awareness that objects continue to exist when not perceived ◦ Out of sight, out of mind ◦ Cannot form memories for objects once they are removed from the immediate present  Language abilities are rapidly developing

15  2-6/7  Too young to perform mental operations ◦ But can understand language  Very egocentric ◦ Child’s difficulty taking another’s point of view ◦ Example: When asked to show her picture to mommy, 2-year-old Gabriella holds the picture facing her own eyes, believing that her mother can see it through her eyes  Believe that appearances are real

16  Age 7-11  Beginning to understand logic  Master conservation ◦ An understanding that certain properties remain constant despite changes in their form ◦ The properties can include mass, volume, and numbers  Can transform mathematical functions ◦ 4+8=12, 12-4=8 is easily understood!  Often take things literally  Children reason best when allowed to engage in “hands-on” learning





21  12 and up  Can think logically and think about abstract principles  Can use symbols and imagined realities ◦ Can solve hypothetical problems

22  Does a child always have to pass from one stage to the next? ◦ Development is much more gradual  Wasn’t very concerned with individual differences ◦ Cognitive development can vary greatly between individuals  Some adults never learn how to reason abstractly  Confused the physical ability and the ability to understand  Didn’t identify any mechanisms responsible for moving from one stage to the next  Underestimated the abilities of children and overestimated the abilities of adolescents  Viewed the developing child in relative isolation from family, community, and culture

23  Lev Vygotsky: Stressed the role of culture and cultural differences in cognitive development ◦ Piaget said we develop by exploring our world  Vygotsky said we develop though our social interactions with parents, teachers, and community  Theory of Mind: elaboration of egocentricism ◦ Occurs when a person understands that other have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different form his or her own  Emerges around age 3 or 4 (earlier than in Piaget)  Failure to develop this has been linked to autism


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