Later Prenatal Brain Development 14-16 weeks: random neural firing begins About 15 weeks: sounds are heard 25 weeks: eyes open and close Critical periods: developmental periods in which a certain stimulus needs to be present in order for sensory organs to function properly or allow specific skills to be learned.
Postnatal Brain Development First year: neurons are still developing at a fast rate, then this slows. – Lots of synapses are formed and allow for quick learning 1-12 years of age – Neural pruning: the elimination of excess neurons
Cognitive Development Piaget’s Constructivist Theory: The human brain constructs knowledge – Schemas – Adaptation – Assimilation – Accommodation – We learn because we are intrinsically motivated to learn
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor stage (birth-2 years): stage in which the baby is learning about their body and their surrounding environment through direct action/interaction with it. – Object concept: the process babies use to learn about their surroundings. – Object permanence: knowing that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist; also, the benchmark that allows us to say an infant is ready to go to the next level of cognitive development
Sensorimotor stage (con’t) – Infant memory: previously it was believed that infant memory was virtually non-existent on more than the rudimentary levels. New research is showing otherwise: Recognition – simplest type of memory – Believed by researchers up until the past few years to be the only type of memory babies had Recall – More complex – Deferred imitation
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Preoperational Stage (Ages 2-6) Piaget saw the preschool years as a time of both stability and great change. Preschoolers are in the PREOPERATIONAL STAGE, from age 2 to 7 – characterized by symbolic thinking – Mental reasoning emerges, use of concepts – Less dependence on sensorimotor activity for understanding the world – Preoperation egocentrism
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Which row contains more buttons? Preschoolers usually say that the bottom row has more because it looks longer.
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Number – Rearranging elements – The type of conservation task grasped the earliest! Substance – Altering shape (clay, water) Length – Altering shape, configuration Area – Rearranging figures Weight – Altering shape Volume – Altering shape (water in container)
Understanding Language Phonology: the sound system – Babbling Semantics: the meaning of words – Vocabulary spurt – Fast Mapping Syntax: How we link words together: the rules that govern syntax is grammer Pragmatics: knowing what type of language to use when
How language is learned Behavior theory: language is reinforced Cognitive theory: Language Acquisition Device