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Life Span Development The First Two Years: Biosocial Development


By 2 weeks of age, an infant should have regained the lost weight and ... vocalizing. babbling. gesturing. listening. pointing. Social Impulses Foster Language ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Life Span Development The First Two Years: Biosocial Development

Life Span Development The First Two Years
Biosocial Development Chapter 5 Cognitive
Development Chapter 6
  • June 17, 2004
  • Class 4

Chapter 5 Normal Growth and Development
  • A newborn infant loses approximately 5 to 10 of
    his or her weight immediately after birth
  • By 2 weeks of age, an infant should have regained
    the lost weight and started to gain additional
  • For the first 6 months of life, most infants will
    gain about 1 ounce per day and grow in length by
    about 1/3 to 1/2 an inch per week
  • By the time an infant is 4 to 6 months old, his
    or her birth weight will have doubled
  • From 6 to 12 months old, the rate of weight gain
    slows to about 1/2 an ounce per day.
  • From 1 until 5 years old, weight gain will have
    slowed to about 5 pounds per year and height will
    increase by 3 to 5 inches per year
  • At this age, toddlers appear to lose their "baby
    fat" and thin out

  • Undernutrition will result in delayed growth
  • An undernourished child
  • Tires easily
  • Possible short attention spans
  • Learning problems
  • Frequent illness and infections

  • Head-sparing
  • Biological protection of the brain when
    malnutrition temporarily affects body growth

A good breakfast is important
  • Studies show that children at all ages benefit
    from nutritious breakfast
  • Tend to have better attention spans and learn
    better than those that skip breakfast

Breast milk is recommended
  • Infants who are breast-fed contract fewer
    infections than do those who are given formula
  • Until fairly recently, most physicians presumed
    that breast-fed children fared better simply
    because milk supplied directly from the breast is
    free of bacteria
  • Formula, which must often be mixed with water and
    placed in bottles, can become contaminated easily
  • Even infants who receive sterilized formula
    suffer from more meningitis and infection of the
    gut, ear, respiratory tract and urinary tract
    than do breast-fed youngsters

Breast milk is recommended
  • Breast Milk
  • begins with colostrum, high-calorie nourishment
    before milk lets down
  • easily digestible
  • has antibodies and antibacterial properties
  • better for babys health
  • Bottle Feeding babies more likely to have
  • better option if mother is HIV-positive or using

  • Newborns sleep about 17 hours per day
  • needed for rapid growth
  • REM sleeprapid eye movement sleepdeclines
  • quiet sleep increases at about 3 months
  • too immature to sleep through the night
  • Infants sleep patterns influenced by brain waves
    and parents caregiving practices

First-borns are usually bad sleepers
  • As compared to their siblingswhy?

Early Brain Development
  • Most critical biosocial aspect of growth
  • newborns skull disproportionately large
  • at birth, 25 of adult brain weight
  • by age 2, 75 of adult brain weight

Why are the heads of newborns so large in
relation to the rest of their bodies?
  • Heads must be big enough to hold the brain which
    is already 25 that of an adult despite the fact
    that the rest of the body is 5-10 of that of an

Another reason why most newborns wont win any
beauty pageants
  • The average newborn has spent about 12 hours
    squeezing through the birth canal, his head may
    be misshapen or kind of pointy
  • C-section babies, who don't travel the birth
    canal, have an edge in the looks department
  • Their heads don't get squeezed, so they come out
    nice and round

Connections in the Brain
  • Head measurement increases 35 in first year
  • Brain development changes in the brains
    communication system
  • By age 2, the brain is 75 of an adult while the
    rest of the body is about 25

Basic Brain Structures
  • Neuronslong thin nerve cells that make up
    nervous system
  • created before birth
  • 70 in cortex (brains outer layer)
  • Axonsnerve fibers that extend from neurons that
    send impulses
  • Dendritesnerve fibers extending from neurons
    that receive impulses

Basic Brain Structures
  • Each neuron has a single axon (nerve fiber) that
    extends from it and meets the dendrites of other
    neurons at intersections called synapses
  • axons and dendrites dont actually touch at
  • electrical impulses trigger brain chemicals
    called neurotransmitters, which carry information
    from axon of sending neuron across synaptic gap
    to dendrites of receiving neuron
  • synapses are critical communication links with
    the brain

  • At birth more than 100 million neurons are
  • Phenomenal growth is referred to as transient
    exuberancefivefold increase in dendrites in
    first 2 years
  • As many as 15,000 connections may be made per

Experience Enhances the Brain
  • Specifics of brain structure and growth depend
    partly on experience
  • exuberance is transienttransitional stage
    between newborn brains immaturity and the
    maturity of older childs or adults brain
  • underused neurons are inactivated, or pruned

Experience Enhances the Brain
  • Reactions to Stress
  • experiencing stress may cause overproduction of
    stress hormone
  • developing brain can lose capacity to react
    normally to stress
  • normal neuron connections may have been pruned
    for rapid response to repeated stress

Experience Enhances the Brain
  • William Greenough identified 2 experience-related
    parts of brain growth
  • experience-expectant brain functions
  • require basic common experiences to develop
  • experience-dependent brain functions
  • depend on particular and variable experiences to

Greenough et al. (1987)
  • Felt that "experience-expectant occurs because
    the nervous system has been programmed by our
    genes to display an exuberant growth of
    connections at particular points in time (e.g.,
    eye-opening) in anticipation of experiences that
    are common to the species
  • Example
  • we are born with all of the circuitry necessary
    to learn any language easily
  • After birth, when we hear the language of our
    parents, we prune away those parts of the circuit
    (i.e., synapses) that are not necessary for the
    comprehension and production of that language
  • In contrast, "experience-dependent" plasticity
    occurs in adulthood in response to new or novel
  • Plasticity in this case is manifested by smaller
    bursts of new synaptic growth within a localized
    region of the brain that is then pruned by the
    continuing experience

Experience Enhances the Brain
  • Human brains are designed for expected
  • how the brain is structured and connected will
    depend on those experiences
  • the brain expects certain experiences at certain
  • these experiences critical if connections are to
    form if connections not formed, plasticity may
    allow new connections and pathways as experiences

Sensation and Perception
  • All senses function at birth
  • sensationthe response of sensory system when it
    detects stimulus
  • begins with outer organnose, eyes, etc.
  • perceptionmental procession of sensory
    information when brain interprets sensation
  • begins in the brain and requires experience
  • cognitionthinking about what was perceived

The Competent Newborn
  • Babies come equipped with several reflexes suited
    for survival
  • The rooting reflex
  • Babies open their mouths and root for a nipple
    when someone touches their cheeks

  • This term refers to an infants decreased
    responding with repeated stimulation
  • New stimuli get attention when first presented
    but the initial attraction wears off in time
  • Response is weakened with familiarity
  • Boredom?

Vision Capabilities of the Newborn
  • At birth, infant vision is limited by
    immaturities in both the eye and brain
  • Newborns estimated to have 20300 eyesight.
  • Infants look longest at what they see best
  • Large patterns with the most elements
  • The most movement
  • The clearest contours
  • The greatest amount of contrast

Other Senses of the Newborn
  • At 2-3 days, newborns can hear soft voices and
    notice differences between tones
  • Special attention paid to speech, especially baby
  • Certain smells and tastes are liked better than
  • Within a few days, breast-fed babies prefer scent
    of own mother to that of another mother

Reflexes of the Newborn
  • Babies show involuntary, unlearned reactions, or
    reflexes, in the first weeks and months after
  • Swift, automatic movements in response to
    external stimuli
  • Examples of observed reflexes in infants
  • Grasping reflex
  • Rooting reflex
  • Sucking reflex

Motor Skills
  • Most visible and dramatic body change of infancy
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Involve large muscles and body movements
  • crawling, creeping, walking
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Small, finely tuned movements, especially of
    hands and fingers, including
  • successful grabbing
  • Fingering, pointing, and holding
  • grasping a moving object
  • transferring objects from hand to hand
  • adjusting reach

Development of Motor Skills
  • Process that stimulates bodys immune system to
    defend against attack by a particular contagious
  • smallpox
  • polio
  • measles

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • SIDS is the diagnosis given for the sudden death
    of an infant under one year of age that remains
    unexplained after a complete investigation, which
    includes an autopsy, examination of the death
    scene, and review of the symptoms or illnesses
    the infant had prior to dying and any other
    pertinent medical history
  • Because most cases of SIDS occur when  a baby is
    sleeping in a crib, SIDS is also commonly known
    as crib death

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Mounting evidence suggests that some SIDS babies
    are born with brain abnormalities that make them
    vulnerable to sudden death during infancy
  • Studies of SIDS victims reveal that many SIDS
    infants have abnormalities in the "arcuate
    nucleus," a portion of the brain that is likely
    to be involved in controlling breathing and
    waking during sleep
  • Babies born with defects in other portions of the
    brain or body may also be more prone to a sudden
  • These abnormalities may stem from prenatal
    exposure to a toxic substance, or lack of a vital
    compound in the prenatal environment, such as
    sufficient oxygen
  • Cigarette smoking during pregnancy, for example,
    can reduce the amount of oxygen the fetus receives

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • There currently is no way of predicting which
    newborns will succumb to SIDS however, there are
    a few measures parents can take to lower the risk
    of their child dying from SIDS
  • Always put your baby to sleep on their back
  • Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered
    during sleep
  • Keep your baby in a smoke free environment,
    before birth and after

Chapter 6 Piagets Theory
  • Child psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
    described the mechanism by which the mind
    processes new information
  • He said that a person understands whatever
    information fits into their established view of
    the world
  • When information does not fit, the person must
    reexamine and adjust their thinking to
    accommodate the new information

Piagets Theory
  • Building blocks of development
  • Schemas
  • Mental images how we organize past experiences
    into a framework for understanding future
  • These are basic units of knowledge
  • Assimilation
  • Here children take in information about new
    objects by using existing schemas that fit the
    new objects
  • Accomodation
  • Here a child tries a familiar schema on a new
    object realizes it cannot be made to fit the
    object and then changes the schema so that it
    will fit

Piagets Theory
  • Piaget described four stages of cognitive
    development and relates them to a person's
    ability to understand and assimilate new
  • Sensorimotor
  • Preoperational
  • Concrete
  • Formal Operations

  • Birth to about age 2
  • During this stage, children learn about
    themselves and their environment through motor
    and reflex actions
  • Thought derives from sensation and movement
  • The child learns that he/she is separate from
    his/her environment and that aspects of the
    environment -- their parents or favorite toy --
    continue to exist even though they may be outside
    the reach of their senses (object permanence)
  • Teaching for a child in this stage should be
    geared to the sensorimotor system

Sudden Drops
  • Visual cliff measures depth perception, which is
    based not on maturity level but affordance
  • depends on prior experience
  • Object Constancy
  • things remain what they are, despite changes in
    perception or appearance
  • boundaries of three-dimensional objects

Movement and People
  • Dynamic perception1 of the 2 principles
    explaining infant perception namely, that from
    birth perception is primed to focus on movement
    and change
  • 2nd principle explaining infant perception is
    that babies are fascinated by people
  • Infants most interested in emotional affordances
    of their caregivers

  • Certain amount of experience and maturation in
    order to process and remember experiences
  • In first year infants have great difficulty
    storing new memories
  • Older children often unable to describe events
    that occurred when they were younger

  • Very early memories possible if
  • situation similar to real life
  • motivation high
  • special measures aid retrieval by acting as

A Little Older, A Little More Memory
  • After 6 months infants capable of retaining
    information for longer periods of time with less
  • Deferred imitation apparent after end of first
  • By middle of the 2nd year, children capable of
    remembering and reenacting complex sequences

Language What Develops in Two Years?
  • Most impressive intellectual achievement of young
    child and also of all humans

How quickly we progress
  • Between nine months and one year of age the child
    usually begins to produce whole words
  • By about the age of 1 and a half we have a
    vocabulary of about 50 to 100 words
  • By age 3 we are using full sentences
  • By age 4 we are nearing adult competence
  • Carey (1978)
  • Children between 1 and a half and 6 learn about
    nine new words every day
  • Almost one per waking hour

Stages of Language Development
  • First sounds infants make that resemble speech
    are called babblings
  • Pre-linguistic speech
  • The first stepping stone to spoken language
  • Early words are reduced to shorter, easier forms
  • Babies use gestures, intonations, facial
    expressions, and endless repetitions to help make
    themselves understood

Stages of Language Development
  • By 18-24 months, spoken vocabulary is up to 300
  • Babies then begin to combine words into
    sentences, which are telegraphic, two-word
  • By age 3, children begin to create complex
    sentences and ask questions
  • By age 5, children have acquired most of the
    grammatical rules of their native language

Language Development Errors
  • Early in the word-learning process, children
    often make the following mistakes
  • Overextension
  • Here, the child applies a word to a broader class
    of objects or actions than in adult usage
  • Underextension
  • This it the exact opposite as the child has a
    more narrow or limited usage of the word

Language Development Errors
  • Overgeneralization
  • The child often utilizes an overgeneralization of
    grammar rules
  • Example the use of past tense (ed)
  • Social Cues
  • Children seem to spontaneously check where
    speakers are looking when they utter new words
    and then link the word to the object the speaker
    is looking at
  • Unfortunately, it appears that autistic children
    lack this ability

How Is Language Acquired?
  • Nativist linguistic theories hold that children
    learn through their natural ability to organize
    the laws of language, but cannot fully utilize
    this talent without the presence of other humans
  • This does not mean, however, that the child
    requires formal tutelage of any sort

  • Thats what famous linguist Norm Chomsky
  • Chomsky claims that children are born with a
    hard-wired language acquisition device in their
  • They are born with the major principles of
    language in place, and with some parameters to
  • This is still a controversial view, and many
    linguists and psychologists do not believe
    language is as innate as Chomsky argues

Infants are Taught
  • Skinners reinforcement theory quantity and
    quality of talking to child affects rate of
    language development (learned)
  • parents are good instructors
  • baby talk characterized by
  • high pitch
  • simpler vocabulary
  • shorter sentence length
  • more questions and commands
  • repetition

Social Impulses Foster Language
  • Social-pragmaticsocial reason for language to
  • Infants seek to respond, which shows their being
    social in nature and thus mutually dependentby
  • vocalizing
  • babbling
  • gesturing
  • listening
  • pointing

A Hybrid Theory
  • Emergentist coalitioncombination of valid
    aspects of several theories
  • cortex contains many language centers
  • nature provides several paths to learning