Handout 8-4 Developmental Landmarks

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Intro Activity:
Handout 8
-
4 Developmental Landmarks:

Physical, Cognitive, Language, Social


1
-
Laugh
-
2 months


Pedal a tricycle
-
24 months


Sit without support
-
5
-
6 months


Feel asahmed
-
2 years


Walk unassisted
-
12 months


Stand on 1 foot for 10 seconds
-
4 ½ years


Recognize and smile at mother or father
-
4
-
5 months


Kick Ball forward
-
20 months


Think about things that cannot be seen
-
2 years


Make two
-
word sentences
-
20
-
22 months


Did you overestimate?
u
nderetimate
?


Developmental Psychology


Cross
-
sectional
:

uses participants of different ages to compare how variables
change over lifespan


Advantage: immediate comparison of developmental differences


Disadvantage: cannot tell if an individual stays the same or changes over time.


Longitudinal
:

same group of individuals studies repeatedly over time.


Advantage
: allows the study of developmental patterns or changes over time.


Disadvantage
:
time
; must wait many years for results, subjects "drop out" of
study (death, move, etc.)


Preferred
method

Issue

Details

Nature/Nurture

How do genetic inheritance (
our nature
) and experience
(
the nurture we receive
) influence our behavior?

Continuity/Stages

Is development a gradual, continuous process or a
sequence of separate stages?

Stability/Change

Do our early personality traits persist through life, or
do we become different persons as we age.

Prenatal Development


Prenatal: germinal, embryonic, fetal stages


Germinal: first two weeks after conception


Zygote


a fertilized egg


Embryonic: weeks three through eight after conception


Stage when most miscarriages occur & when most major birth defects take place


Placenta & umbilical cord


Connects blood supply of mother to the fetus


Filter: allows oxygen & nutrients thru while keeping out
some

toxic substances


But: some viruses (HIV) & drugs (caffeine, nicotine, pot, cocaine, heroin) can get
through, which are called TERATOGENS

»
diseases (herpes)

»
drug (alcohol)

FAS

»
other environmental agent (chemicals)


Fetal: two months after conception until birth


Neurological development


Neural connections are very few at birth, but # in the 1,000s by 2 months


Partial explanation for brain weight increase from 340
-
900 grams


Prenatal Development


While most nerve cells are produced during the first few months of prenatal development, the senses cannot work
until these cells make synapses. Early reflexes and movements seem to function in making these connections, molding
the senses, and training the fetal brain to perceive.


Chronological summary of sensory development:

1.

Nerve growth begins when a sheet of cells on the back of the embryo folds in the middle to form the future
spinal cord. At one end, the tube enlarges to form the brain’s major sections.

2.

First responses are reflexes, some of which occur even before the sense of touch is developed. The fetus will flex
its head away from stimulation around the mouth as early as 71⁄2 weeks. By month’s end the ears begin to take
shape.

3.
Touch receptors around the mouth are developed by the twelfth week and elsewhere by the fifteenth. Touching
the palms makes the fingers close, touching the soles of the feet makes the toes curl down, touching the eyelids
makes the eye muscles clench. Nerve cells have multiplied, synapses are being formed.

4.
At 15 weeks the fetus can grasp, frown, squint, and grimace. It may suck its thumb and swallow. These
movements correspond to the development of synapses in the brain.

5.
At 20 weeks nerve
-
cell production slows as the existing cells grow larger and make more complex connections.
The senses of taste and smell are now formed. The nerve cells serving each of the senses are developing into
specialized areas of the brain.

6.
The fetus can feel movement and may respond to sound as early as 24 weeks.

7.
At 25 weeks some babies born prematurely can survive. Nerve supply to the ears is complete. Brain scans show
response to touch at 26 weeks and to light at 27 weeks. A light shone on the mother’s abdomen will make the
fetus turn its head, indicating some functioning of the optic nerve.

8.
The eyes open in the womb and the fetus may see its hand and environment. Some researchers put the start of
awareness at the 32nd week, at which time neural circuits are as advanced as a newborn’s. Brain scans show
periods of deep sleep.

9.
The fetus begins to develop daily activity cycles. At 35 weeks hearing is mature. At birth the baby can see shapes
and colors within 13 inches of its face; can distinguish loudness, pitch, and tone; and may even show a preference
for sweets and for the scent of its mother’s skin.

Newborn: Sensory Abilities


All are present at birth; vision is the one that changes the most


Hearing


Prefer mother’s voice to other female’s voices, but do not prefer
fathers voice to other males




exposure during gestation


Touch


Many reflexes are triggered by touch, and sensitivity increases as
neonates mature


rooting (turn head toward touch/stroke)


sucking


moro

(the "startle" reflex= drawing up limbs when startled, or
"dropped")


withdrawal (from painful stimuli)


grasping ("
palma
r
")


babinski

(spread toes when feet are stimulated/stroked)


sphincter (pooping)


Touch creates emotional bonds between people


Taste


Neonates prefer liquid solutions such as sugar and milk and grimace
when given bitter or salty tastes. inborn preference for sweet & salt;
inborn dislike for bitter




Newborn: Sensory Abilities


Vision


Infants are born with immature visual system


can detect movement and large objects


At four months visual acuity is the same as an adult
20/20


Response to complex stimuli and the human face


8
-
12 weeks: Neonates prefer stripes to featureless blobs, and
curvy lines to straight ones


2 months: Neonates prefer human faces


Depth perception


6
-
8 months: respond to monocular and binocular cues


Gibson "visual cliff" experiment (6
-
8 months)



Crawling infants would not cross visual cliff even when beckoned by
mother


1
-
month old infants showed no emotion in response to a

visual cliff, 55
-
day old infants showed interest, and 9
-
month olds showed fear




Newborn: Sensory Abilities


Smell


1 day old can differentiate citrus/floral odors


Can discriminate distinct smells shortly after birth


Infants breathe more rapidly when presented with a strong smell 16
hours to 5 days after birth, and will turn away from fowl smells


Infants prefer similar smells to children and adults


Infants are drawn to the smell of their mother


Auxiliary:


underarm


Within 15 days infants prefer their mother’s auxiliary odors to
those of other women




Developmental Norms


Development Norms
-

average age at which individuals display various behaviors and abilities.


Variations from average are normal. EX: 25% of all babies walk by 11 months, 50% walk within a
week after their first birthday, and 90% by age 15 months


30 percent rule


developing motor skills more than 30% later than average might warrant
attention.


Occurs in a predictable sequence


Proximodistal

principle
: parts closer to the center of the body develop before parts further
away.


EX: activities involving the trunk are mastered first (roll over before walking or holding a
bottle)


Cephalocaudal

principle
: parts of the body closer to the head develop before parts closer to
the feet.


EX: head lifts before roll over, sit up before (controls legs to) crawl


Most heavily influenced by
maturation


Biological growth processes that enable orderly developmental changes that are RELATIVELY
uninfluenced by experience.


Development of the brain pathways fire up nerve endings and muscle groups to perform
specific tasks


For example, can’t roll over until three brain structures develop more: the motor cortex,
which initiates movement and the cerebellum, which excites motor nerves and regulates
balance.


However, the
timing

can be sped up/slowed down by experience/learning (nurture)


A child that is always held by their parents will be slower to learn how to crawl


Each stage has
critical periods

-

the period before humans must be exposed to a skill/experience or
they lose much of their innate ability to learn it


EX: have to be exposed to language before puberty in order to learn language)


Development is lifelong and NEVER ends


it is plastic, flexible and malleable



Maturation

At birth

3 months

15 months

Cortical Neurons

Motor Milestones

Cognitive Development


Cognition

= all the mental activities associated with thinking,
knowing, remembering, and communicating


Methods
for studying infants:


Infant reflexes provide insight into their mental life


Gaze = preference looking and duration related to visual
perception


Head turning = related to auditory attention


Sucking , reaching, kicking can be used to measure
interest


Habituation

= decreasing responsiveness with
repeated stimulation


Dishabituation

= increasing responsiveness to
something new or impossible


http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1502

(8 minutes


20
minutes)

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development


Schema
--
mental structure or framework that permits
classification/organization of new information.


Assimilation
--
inclusion of new event into existing schema.


Accommodation
--
modification of schemas to allow for new
information can be integrated.


Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive
Development:
Sensorimotor

Stage

Age
Range

Major Developmental Hallmarks

0
-
2 yrs



3 ½
mos



6
-
8
mos


-

All knowledge is acquired through senses and
movement (such as looking and grasping).

-

Baby Mathematics


infants stare longer at a
numerically impossible event


-

Visual Cliff


infant hesitates and shows fear;
depth perception

-

Object Permanence
-

exhibit memory for
things no longer seen.

Cognitive Development


Baby Mathematics


Shown a numerically impossible outcome, infants stare
longer
(
http://vsx.onstreammedia.com/vsx/pbssaf/search/PBSPlayer?assetId=68933&ccstart=0&pt=0&preview
= (5:39
)

1. Objects placed

in case.

2. Screen comes

up.

3. Object is removed.

4. Impossible outcome:

Screen drops, revealing

two objects.

4. Possible outcome:

Screen drops, revealing

one object.

Cognitive Development


One
study had 1 month
old babies suck one of
two pacifiers without
ever seeing them


When shown both
pacifiers, infants stared
more at the one they
had felt in their mouth


This requires a sort of
reasoning

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive
Development: Preoperational Stage

Age
Range

Major Developmental Hallmarks

2
-
7 yrs

3 yrs










4
-
5yrs

-

Language development

-

Symbolic Thinking
-

ability to think in symbols

-

Animism


all objects have thoughts and feelings.

-

Egocentric Thinking


unable to see world from
others’ points of view
(your thoughts are public
knowledge rather than private, everyone

thinks like you
)
.

-

Theory of Mind


start to understand people’s
ideas about their own and others’ mental states
(feelings, perceptions, and thoughts and the
behavior these might predict)





Theory of Mind


http://vsx.onstreammedia.com/vsx/pbssaf/search/PBSPlay
er?assetId=68935&ccstart=0&pt=0&preview
= (start at 2:55
or at 7 minutes for sticker game)



Autism & Theory of Mind
: Video:
“Breaking

the Shell”

Developmental Abnormalities: Autism

http://
vsx.onstreammedia.com/vsx/pbssaf/search/PBSPlayer?assetId=68299&ccstart=925659&pt=0&vid=pbssaf1205&entire=No


Cognitive Deficit

Brain Abnormality

Lack Theory of Mind (see others as separate beings
with own feelings, thoughts, perceptions):

-
Social Relationship Difficulties (hard to relate to
people)

-
No eye contact when communicating

-
No imitation

Dysfunction of mirror neurons


subset
of motor neurons that also fire when
person watches another person
perform the same action (helps one
determine intentions of others by
mentally stimulating their actions)



Brain does not light up to faces

Problems with emotional reciprocity and trivial act
can set off an extreme emotional response

Larger
Amygdala

Heightened emotional response

-
Preoccupation with trivial info (train schedules)

-
Avoids novel sensations

-
Repetitive motions


rocking, self stimulating
(head banging)

-
Hypersensitivity

-
Aversion to sounds

Salience landscape


created by
amygdala



map that details emotional
significance of everything in
environment, helps determine how we
should respond emotionally

Language Deficits


cannot interpret proverbs and
metaphors

Larger

Brain?

Treatments for Autism


Intervene early with autistic children to
stimulate brain systems


Squeeze vest


device to monitor arousal


Intensive therapy


40 hours a week: speech
pathologist, imitation, repetitive actions,
provide routine


Correct chemical imbalance that disables
mirror neurons; teach how to suppress Mu
wave


Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development:
Concrete Operations Stage

Age
Range

Major Developmental Hallmarks

7
-
11/12
yrs

-

Logical thinking develops, including classifying
objects and mathematical principles, but only
as they apply to real, concrete objects.

-

Conservation of liquid, area, volume

-

Seriation



mentally arrange items along a
dimension (height, weight, time or speed)

-

Classification


sort objects into groups, class
inclusion

Conservation


Number:

In conservation of number tests, two equivalent rows of coins are
placed side by side and the child says that there is the same number in
each row. Then one row is spread apart and the child is again asked if there
is the same number in each.





Length:

In conservation of length tests, two same
-
length sticks are placed
side by side and the child says that they are the same length. Then one is
moved and the child is again asked if they are the same length.





Substance:

In conservation of substance tests, two identical amounts of
clay are rolled into similar
-
appearing balls and the child says that they both
have the same amount of clay. Then one ball is rolled out and the child is
again asked if they have the same amount.







Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development:
Formal Operations Stage

Age
Range

Major Developmental Hallmarks

11/12
yrs +
up

-

Logical thinking extends to
hypothetical and abstract concepts.

-

Can reason using metaphors and
analogies

-

Can explore values, beliefs,
philosophies

-

Can think about past and future

-

Potential for mature moral reasoning.


Maturation


Cognitive development is a process of
maturation
= developmental changes that are genetically or
biologically programmed rather than acquired
through learning or life experiences.


Object Permanence


hippocampus


Theory of mind


mirror neuron network


Proliferation of neurons within the frontal lobe


moral reasoning; hypothetical thinking


Due to maturation, the four stages of cognitive
development always occur in the same sequence
and at approximately the same ages


Criticisms of Piaget


Development is seen as more continuous
without any particular sequence built into the
process rather than discrete stages


Cognitive abilities result from modeling and
learning rather than maturation.


Age ranges are incorrect


some 3
months old
have object permanence.


Studied his own children
-

biased and not big
enough sample


David
Elkind
: Adolescent Egocentrism


A heightened self
-
consciousness of adolescents. Thinking becomes
very introspective and teens often go through periods of extreme self
-
absorption. Can lead to cognitive limitations:


Imaginary Audience = belief that everyone is watching and the tendency
to overestimate the degree to which one’s behavior will lead to social
acceptance or social rejection


EX: Wrapped up with appearance


everyone will notice pimple, new
hair do, etc


EX: Drink alcohol at party because he/she believes his/her friends will
think less of him/her for not drinking


Personal Fable = perceptions of one’s own uniqueness (experiences,
perspectives, feelings, values) and that one is destined for greatness


EX: “No one has been in love like this before!”; “You don’t
understand… you have never had this much work to accomplish in one
night!”


EX: Write in journals about their future as the next great novelist or
rock star


Invincibility Fable = belief that one is invincible and can never be hurt.
Regardless of what happens to others, believe no harm will come to them


EX: drinking and driving ; won’t get pregnant, etc…

Vygotsky’s

Sociocultural

Perspective


Vygotsky

-

children learn to think through guided
participation in social experiences that explore the world.
Adult instruction and encouragement are crucial to the child’s
intellectual growth


Zone of proximal development
-

a range of skills that the
child can perform with assistance but not quite
independently


mastering important skills is partly linked to the willingness of
others to provide
scaffolding
, or sensitive structuring of children’s
learning encounters.


Words are part of the scaffold


words bridge the child’s current
understanding and what is almost understood


What children can do with the help of others may be more
indicative of their mental development than what they can do
alone


Critical thinking based on dialogue with others who
challenge ideas. Believed language to be the foundation
for social interaction and thought