Why pediatricians test newborn reflexes
To confirm correct formation of the nervous system; Reflexes are vital to survival
Rooting: finding the nipple
Palmar Grip: Supporting body weight by grip
Tonic Neck Reflex: Can respond to sounds
Fencing Position: Associate vision with arm movement to reach for things
Walking (stepping) movement: Helps them walk later
Characteristics of the infant states of arousal
-degrees of sleep and wakefulness
-babies sleep 16-18 hrs/day
-affected by hunger
-Circadian Rhythm (24 hr sleep schedule)
-When awake, uncoordinated body movement
Cultural variation in infant sleeping arrangements
Western: separate sleeping arrangements
90% of world: co-sleeping arrangements
-helps babies eat/sleep better
How poor sleep organization is related to children’s behavior (when awake)
-behaviorally disorganized; learning disabilities
-delayed motor, cognitive, and language develop.
-REM sleep protects central nervous system from this
Causes and patterns of infant crying and how parents can help reduce crying
-Usually physical causes (hunger, discomfort, noise, etc.)
-First method of communication
-Soothing methods: feed, sleep, rock, pacifier, combined methods, (sometimes) letting them cry to sleep, etc.
Questions regarding SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
-usually in babies that struggled from beginning
-face-down sleeping, suffocation?
-Have baby sleep on back to prevent
-gradual reduction in the strength of responsive to repetitive stimulation.
-“Learning to be bored by the familiar.”
-Baby looking at photo of a baby and bald man example
-early habituation ability is the best predictor of intellectual performance during preschool and grade school
-a new stimulus- a change in the environment that causes the habituated response to return to a high level or refers to the re-emergence of a previously extinguished conditioned response after a delay
-Assess memory, quickness and flexibility of thinking
-ex. when you walk through a familiar space, you notice things are new or different–a recently hung picture on the wall or a piece of furniture that has been moved
-habituation and recovery make learning more efficient by focusing our attention on those aspects of the environment we know least about
-infants act or operate on the environment and stimuli that follow their behavior, change the probability that the behavior will occur again.
-Positive and Negative reinforcers/punishment
-infants can be classically conditioned most easily when the association between two stimuli has survival value (feeding, fear, etc.).
-neutral stimulus paired with stimulus that leads to reflexive response
-Environment becomes more orderly and predictable
-Little Albert example
Positive and Negative re-inforcer/punishment
-clumsy reach for infants.
-Plays the greatest role in cognitive development.
-Drops out at around 7 weeks
-clumsy motion in which the baby’s fingers close against the palm
-Ex: Christian (his son) uses ulnar grasp to play with lantern
-thumb and index finger- can pinch small objects
-Example: eating cheerios
What sounds newborns prefer most
-infants prefer mothers voice and exaggerated speech
-Complex sound (noises and inflection in voices)
-animated faces are best
-infants go through all human sounds and stick with those they grow up with
-responds to touch and pain
-distinguishes shape of object placed in palm
Birth: Taste and Smell
-distinguishes sweet, sour, and bitter tastes; prefers sweetness
-distinguishes odors; prefers those of sweet-tasting foods
-prefers smell of own mother’s amniotic fluid and the lactating breast
-prefers complex sounds to pure tones
-distinguishes some sound patterns
-prefers listening to own mother’s voice
-Turns eyes/head in general direction of the sound
-visual acuity is 20/600
-scans the visual field and tracks moving objects
-Prefer high contrast visuals (black and white checkerboard)
How babies perceive faces
-poor vision = fuzzy faces; can see contrasts of shades
How babies demonstrate preferences for different kinds of faces
-Prefer natural faces (upright)
-Prefers moms face
-can’t discriminate a complex, static image of the human face from other, equally complex configurations
Central focus of the Gibsons’ differentiation theory
-differentiation theory: infants actively search for invariant features of the environment—those that remain stable—in a constantly changing perceptual world
-differentiate means “analyze” or “break down”
-learning to extract information out of the sensory data of the environment
Effects and timing of early deprivation on Romanian orphans
-evidence that infancy is a sensitive period
-Little care/stimulation causes persistent intellectual impairments and mental health problems
-Can cause physical impairments as well
-First 6 months the damage is significant
Effects of “early learning centers” on infant and toddler development
-can cause overstimulation for infants, causing the same side-effects as understimulation.
Physical Growth During Puberty (Girls)
-Breast growth (8/10 to 13)
-Peak growth period (height, weight, muscle, fat) occurs about 1 year after puberty
-Menstruation usually starts about 18 months – 2 yrs after puberty (just before age 13)
Physical Growth During Puberty (Boys)
-1 to 2 years after girls
-enlargement of the testes and a thinning/reddening of the scrotum
-Peak growth period about 2 years after puberty
The best way to estimate a child’s physical maturity
-skeletal age- measure of development of the bones in the body
Characteristic sex differences in gross-motor development
-small differences in childhood, boys can typically do a little better in physical performance than girls
-puberty: boys are bigger and stronger, have growth spurts; girls show gradual growth
-Parents should encourage girls to be athletic just as much as boys
release most important hormones for human growth- located by hypothalamus
the only pituitary secretion produced continuously throughout life, affects development of all tissues except the CNS and genitals
second pituitary hormone, prompts the thyroid gland in neck to release thyroxine, necessary for brain development and for GH to have its full impact on body size
Latest information on secular trends in physical growth
Secular trends in physical growth- changes in body size from one generation to the next
nerve cells that store and transmit info
tiny gaps, where fibers from different neurons come close together but don’t touch
neurons send messages to one another by releasing these chemicals, cross synapses
makes space for connective structures, as synapses form, many surroundings neurons die- 20-80%, depending on brain region
neurons that are seldom stimulated soon lose their synapses, and return neurons not needed at the moment to an uncommitted state so they can support future development
-half the brain’s volume is made up of glial cells that cause dramatic increase in brain size during infancy
-Responsible for myelination- coating of neural fibers with an insulating fatty sheath (myelin) that improves the efficiency of message transfer
surrounds the rest of the brain, resembling half of a shelled walnut. It is the largest brain structure, accounting for 85% of the brain’s weight and containing the greatest number of neurons and synapses
lying in front of areas controlling body movement, is responsible for thought- in particular, consciousness, attention, inhibition of impulses, integration of info, and use of memory, reasoning, planning, and problem-solving strategies
specialization of the two hemispheres
-left Hemisphere- verbal abilities and positive emotion
-Right Hemisphere- spatial abilities and negative emotion
a highly plastic cerebral cortex, in which many areas are not yet committed to specific functions, has a high capacity for learning. And if a part of the cortex is damaged, other parts can take over the tasks it would’ve handled
Dominant Cerebral Hemisphere
handedness reflects the greater capacity of one side of the brain to carry out skilled motor action
aids in balance, control of body movement
maintains alertness and consciousness
memory and in images of space that help us find our way
processes emotional information, fear, facial emotions
large bundle of fibers connecting 2 cerebral hemispheres
The teenage brain and behavior
-Not fully developed; increased function but not yet fine-tuned
-experience pleasure/stress more intensely
-enhanced oxytocin sensitivity (self-concious)
Experience-expectant Brain Growth
young brain’s rapidly developing organization, which depends on ordinary experiences- opportunities to interact with people, hear language and other sounds, see and touch objects, and move about and explore the environment
Experience-Dependent Brain Growth
occurs throughout our lives, It consists of additional growth and refinement of established brain structures as a result of specific learning experiences that vary widely across individuals and cultures
Importance of nutrition during various developmental stages
Infant: need extra calories to keep up rapid development (breast-fed vs. bottle-fed)
2+: Growth slows, picky eating, unpredictable
Puberty: Rapid growth=dramatic rise in food intake
Advantages of breastfeeding and recommendations
1. provides the correct balance of fat and protein.
2. ensures nutritional completeness
3. helps ensure healthy physical growth
4. protects against many diseases
5. protects against faulty jaw development and tooth decay
6. ensures digestibility
7. smooths the transition to solid foods
How parents can encourage healthy eating in children and adolescents
1. set a good example
2. expose them repeatedly to good foods
3. don’t bribe them with unhealthy food
4. have family meals frequently
Obesity/overweight statistics for U.S. children and adolescents
-Obesity in 6-11 year-olds increased from 12.7% to 20.6% (62% increase)
-Obesity in children ages 2-5 climbed from 8.4% to 15.8% (88% increase)
The impact of infectious disease on child mortality worldwide
-poverty stricken: In. Dis. occurs earlier and those with weak immune systems can kill
-major contributor to malnutrition hindering physical growth and cognitive develop.
Why immunization rates are falling in the U.S
1. no access to shots/necessary health care
2. insurance doesn’t always cover the cost
3. parents are too busy to take child in
4. increasing belief that immunizations are bad
Effects of pubertal timing: early vs. late maturation for girls and boys
-Girls: it is better to be on-time or late to protect against unwanted sexual attention at an early age.
-Boys: it is better to be early or on-time to protect from bullying because of late puberty.
What is behind teen pregnancy rates over the course of historical time
-Increased social acceptance of single motherhood
-teen girl belief that baby might fill void in their lives
back and forth between equilibrium and disequilibrium
inborn tendency to combine/integrate available schemes into coherant systems or bodies of knowledge
Process of building schemes through direct interaction with the environment in 2 ways: Assimilation and Accomodation (this is why kids need more sleep)
interpreting new experiences in terms of existing scheme
modifying existing schemes in order to account for new experiences
Cognitive structures that we create to represent, organize, and interpret our experiences (starts action based)
Primary Circular Reactions
-(1 to 4 months)
-simple motor habits, centered around the infant’s own body.
-Ex: baby smacking lips
Secondary Circular Reactions
-(4 to 8 months)
-actions aimed at repeating interesting effects in the surrounding world. acting on things around them not themselves.
-Ex: Daughter hitting something and it playing sounds over and over.
Coordination of Secondary Circular Reactions
-(8 to 12 months)
-intentional behavior, ability to find hidden objects (object permanence), improved anticipation of events, and imitation.
-Dad blocks kid from grabbing toy so kid hits it out of the way with one hand and grabs toy with the other
Tertiary Circular Reactions
-(12 to 18 months)
-acting on objects in novel ways, or new ways to get a different reaction;
-Ex. children search for objects in other locations (accurate A-B search) imitation of new behaviors
-(18 months to 2 years)
-internal depictions and thought process of solving a problems instead of externally; invisible displacement; deferred imitation;
-Ex. make believe play; boy wearing superman costume
Baby learning from TV and video
-At first (til about 2.5 yrs) baby think people in tv are really there
-Video Deficit Effect: poorer performance after a video than a live demonstration
-Ex. Baby Einstein Videos
General trends in the development of make-believe play
-preoperational stage (age 2 to 7)
-obvious change in extraordinary increase in representational or symbolic activity.
-play detaches from real life conditions: imitation of adult actions, can quite yet imagine something to be somethings that is not, no flexible.
Purpose and implications of Piaget’s three-mountain problem
-experiment (kid looking at 3 mountains won’t choose a pic of the same mountains from the dolls perspective on the other side)
-This study showed young children could not perceive differences in perspectives.
-HOWEVER, other studies showed that with familiar objects, children could differentiate perspectives much earlier than Piaget originally thought
Failure to distinguish other’s symbolic viewpoints from one’s own
-kids assume others perceive, think, and feel the same way they do
-the belief that inanimate objects have lifelike qualities, such as thoughts, wishes, feelings, an intentions
-magical thinking especially common during preschool yrs
-“the sun is angry at the clouds and has chased them away”
-certain physical characteristics of objects remain the same, even when their outward appearance changes
-Ex. belief that pouring water from one bottle to different sized bottle changes the amount
-understanding is centered
-Child focuses on one aspect of a situation, neglecting other important features
ability to go through a series of steps in a problem and then mentally reverse direction, returning to the starting point
-Assuming 2 things go together when they don’t
-Ex. “Dads supposed to be home because the sun set”
Why young children struggle with Piagetian conservation and class-inclusion tasks
-Pouring water example, child cannot imagine the water being poured back into its original container so fails to see how the amount must remain the same
-Trying to explain the unfamiliar/unknown
Importance of abstract thinking to the formal operational stage
-The ability to think outside the box
-Coming up with new, logical rules through internal reflection
Concrete Operational Thought (pendulum problem)
at this stage cannot separate the effects of each variable
Formal Operational Thought (pendulum problem)
Hypothesize that four variables might be influential and then test 1 while holding the other 3 constant
When faced with a problem, they start with a hypothesis about variables that might affect the outcome, from which they deduce logical, testable inferences.
adolescents’ ability to evaluate the logic of propositions without referring to real-world circumstances
Adolescents’ belief that they are the focus of everyone else’s attention and concern
Certain that others are observing and thinking about them, teenagers develop an inflated opinion of their own importance-a feeling that they are special and unique
How Piaget’s theory has inspired further research
-Piaget was on the right track, if not wholly correct
-Researchers have tested and expanded his theories
Piaget’s view on language
-viewed private speech as egocentric
Vygotsky’s view on language
-Children use private speech to guide their behavior and accordingly, as the foundation for higher cognitive processes
Characteristics of private speech in young children
Sometimes used to help recall and comprehend events of the day
Zone of Proximal Development
Range of tasks a child cannot yet handle alone but can accomplish with the help of adults and more skilled peers
-Lower boundary: what they can do on their own
-Upper boundary: what they can do with support/motivation (Potential)
-Ex. Little Mermaid Puzzle
-One-on-One interaction! No baby Einstein
Cooperative Learning (Assisted Discovery)
-small groups of classmates work toward common goals effective, enjoyment of learning, higher-level explanations
-Multi-grade classrooms, elder help the younger and reaffirm their own understanding of concepts
Reciprocal Teaching (Assisted Discovery)
teacher and 2-4 students form a collaborative group and take turns leading dialogues on the content of a text passage. Within the dialogues ,group members apply 4 cog strategies: questioning, summarizing, clarifying, and predicting
-Community of Learners model
process whereby 2 participants who begin a task with different understandings arrive at a shared understanding
broader concept than scaffolding. Refers to shared endeavors between more expert and less expert participants without specifying the precise features of communication (not explicit)
adjusting assistance to fit the child’s current level of performance (tools of how to solve a problem)
Piagetian approaches to Education
1. Discovery learning- spontaneous interaction with environment, discovery. Art, puzzles, table games, dress up, blocks, books, instruments, etc.
2. Sensitivity to children’s readiness to learn- info that builds on student’s current thinking
3. Acceptance of individual differences- plan small groups because students develop at different rates and see progress based on students past, not compared with the norm.
Vygotsky approaches to education
-Promotes assisted discovery: teachers guide children’s learning with explanations, demonstrations, and verbal prompts
-Socially rich, meaningful activities in children’s zones of proximal development and wealth of opportunities for make-believe
-private speech is important. (later becomes silent internal speech)
-ASSISTED DISCOVERY-peers, and teachers
Basic elements of information processing theory
-The mind is a complex symbol-manipulating system through which info flows, like a computer
-Encoding, recoding, decoding
-The Store Model
-“Flag Finding” example
The Store Model
1. Sensory Register (limit on storage; what did you see on your way to school)
2. Working/short-term Memory (limit on storage; CPU; number of items that can be briefly held in mind while also engaging in some effort to monitor or manipulate those items)
3. Long Term Memory (limitless, permanently stored info; Difficulty usually comes in retrieval)
Levels of Processing Model (depth matters)
-no fixed capacities (unlimited)
-processed in shallow manner is easily forgotten
-working memory (limited pool of attention) – what you are focusing on at the moment
-automatization – allows to engage in more tasks simultaneously (stop thinking somewhat) (Radio announcer example)
-repeating information to yourself- a procedure that holds information in working memory.
-older children repeat a word with neighboring words to trigger recall which yields to much better memory.
Strategies for storing/retrieving info: Organization
grouping related items such as cities within the same country.
creating a relationship, or shared meaning, between two or more pieces of information that do not belong to the same category.
-Noticing that a stimulus is identical or similar to the one previously experienced is called recognition.
generating a mental representation of an absent stimulus
Selecting and interpreting information we encounter in our everyday lives in terms of our existing knowledge. This can include re-coding information while it is in the system or being retrieved. (condensing, integrating, and adding information.)
Unique aspects of Case’s neo-Piagetian theory
-Accepts Piaget’s stages but attributes change within each stage, and movement from one stage to the next, to increases in the efficiency with which children use their limited working memory capacity.
-Practice with schemes and automization
-Formation of central conceptual structures
-the continuum of acquisition
Developmental trends in selective attention
-Infant-develops sustained attention by attending to novel and eye catching events
-Toddlers/preschoolers- parents help maintain their focus of attention by offering suggestions, questions, and comments about the child’s current interest;
-As sustained attention increases, children become better at focusing on only those aspects of a situation that are relevant to their goals. (This is Selective attention).
-Selective attention improves sharply at 6-11 yrs
– the ability to control internal and external distracting stimuli. Individuals who are skilled at inhibition can prevent the mind from straying to alternative attractive thoughts and can keep stimuli unrelated to a current goal from capturing their attention.
What underlies ADHD symptoms
-impulsivity and disorganized behavior.
-excessive motor activity resulting in academic/social problems.
-difficulty completing tasks requiring sustained attention, memory, planning, reasoning, and problem solving in academic and social situations.
-often fail to manage frustration and intense emotion.
-shows abnormal brain functioning
Media multitasking and learning
-Multi-taskers using media are unable to apply what they learn when they stop using the media
-conscious, strategic recall which enables new information to be used flexibly and adaptively in contexts outside the original learning situation.
– a shallower automatic form of learning that takes place unconsciously. (used by multi-taskers)
Fundamentals of fuzzy-trace theory
-encode information, reconstruct it automatically making a vague/fuzzy version called a gist
-preserves essential meaning without details and is especially useful for reasoning.
-Example: remember what recipes are less expensive to make in terms of ingredients, but because its fuzzy you will need to review the recipes to remember which ingredients to buy.
-our vast taxonomically organized and hierarchically structured general knowledge system, consisting of concepts, language meanings, facts, and rules (such as memory strategies and arithmetic procedures). (develops early).
-recollections of personally experienced events that occurred at a specific time and place. 2 parts:
1. memory of recurring events
2. memory for significant one-time events that children integrate into their personal life stories.
-general descriptions of what occurs and when it occurs in a particular situation. (like expected sequences of events, such as what you do at a restaurant -go in, order, then pay.)
-planning your day
-made up of representations of one-time events that are long-lasting because they are imbued with personal meaning.
specific elements of whatever you are trying to reconstruct.
both verbatim and gist present originally but with age child relies less on verbatim and more on the their fuzzy gist.
preventing the mind from staying to alternative attractive thoughts. Working memory is not cluttered by irrelevant thoughts
Preschoolers fail to produce attention strategies when they could be helpful
Young children sometimes produce strategies, but not consistently. They have difficulty controlling, or executing, strategies effectively
Slightly later, children execute strategies consistently, but their performance either does not improve or improves less than that of older children.
How a lawyer can increase a child’s accurate reporting in court testimony
-Use unbiased, open-ended questions or statements that prompt children to disclose details
-Using a warm, supportive interview tone fosters accurate recall
-Using adapted procedures to protect children likely to experience emotional trauma or later punishment
Development and characteristics of metacognition
-Thinking about thinking
-Awareness and understanding of various aspects of thought
-Coincides with development of a theory of mind, a coherent understanding of people as mental beings
-To work most effectively, the information-processing system must be aware of itself. Constantly evaluating what needs to be done in order to improve processing
-“Suppose you lose your jacket at school. How would you go about finding it?”
Differences between low- and middle-income families in how much parents read to children
-Low income families read to their children a total of 25 hours during early childhood
-Middle-income families read to their children a total of 1,000 hours during early childhood