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Chapter Six


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Title: Chapter Six

Chapter Six
  • The First Two Years
  • Cognitive Development

PowerPoints prepared by Cathie Robertson,
Grossmont College
Sensorimotor Intelligence
  • Sensoritmotor intelligenceactive intelligence
    causing babies to think while using senses and
    motor skills

Stages 1 and 2 Primary Circular Reactions
  • The feedback loop involving the infants own body
    infant senses motion and tries to make sense of
  • Stage 1 Reflexes
  • Stage 2 First Acquired Adaptations
  • adaptations of reflexes, i.e., suckingnew
    information taken in by senses and responded to

Stages 1 and 2 Primary Circular Reactions, cont.
  • Assimilation and Accommodation
  • assimilationtaking in new information by
    incorporating it into previous knowledge
  • accommodation intake of new data to re-adjust,
    refine, expand prior schema or actions
  • babies eagerly adapt their reflexes and senses
    to whatever experiences they have

Stages 1 and 2 Primary Circular Reactions, cont.
  • Sucking as a Stage-Two Adaptation
  • begin adapting at about one month
  • reflexive assimilation

Stages 3 and 4 Secondary Circular Reactions
  • feedback loop involving people and objects
  • Stage 3 Making Interesting Events Last
  • repetition
  • awareness
  • Stage 4 New Adaptation and Anticipation
  • goal-directed behavior
  • object permanence

Stages 5 and 6 Tertiary Circular Reactions
  • Feedback loop that involves active
    experimentation and exploration
  • involves creativity, action, and ideas
  • Stage 5 New Means Through Active
  • little scientist

Stages 5 and 6 Tertiary Circular Reactions, cont.
  • Stage 6 New Means Through Mental Combinations
  • mental combinationssequence of mental actions
    tried out before actual performance
  • deferred imitationperception of something
    someone else does (modeling), then performing
    action at a later time

Piaget and Modern Research
  • Habituationprocess of getting used to an object
    or event through repeated exposure to it
  • fMRIfunctional magnetic resonance imaging
    measuring technique for brain activity and
    neurological responses
  • First three years are prime time for cognitive

Information Processing
  • Information-processing theory perspective that
    compares human thinking processes to computer
    analysis of data, including sensory input, stored
    memories, and output

  • Affordancesopportunities for perception and
    interaction offered by environment
  • How something is perceived and acted upon depends
  • past experiences
  • current developmental level
  • sensory awareness of opportunities
  • immediate needs and motivation

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

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

Reminders and Repetition
  • Reminder sessionany perceptual experience that
    helps a person recall an idea or experience

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

A Little Older, A Little More Memory, cont.
  • Memory is not just single entity distinct brain
    regions for particular aspects of memory humans
    have a memory for
  • words
  • images
  • actions
  • smells
  • experiences
  • memorized facts

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

The Universal Sequence of Language Development
  • Children around the world have the same sequence
    of early language development but
  • timing and depth of linguistic ability vary

First Noises and Gestures
  • Baby talkhigh-pitched, simplified, and
    repetitive ways adults talk to babies
  • Vocalization
  • crying
  • cooing
  • Babbling
  • deaf babies do it later and less frequently, but
    are more advanced in use of gestures

First Words
  • First word and sentences at age of 1 year

The Language Explosion and Early Grammar
  • Naming explosionsudden increase in infant
    vocabulary, especially nouns, beginning at 18
  • Holophrasesingle word that expresses a complete,
    meaningful thought
  • Grammarall the methods that languages use to
    communicate meaning

Theories of Language Learning
  • Even the very young use language well
  • Three schools of thought
  • infants are taught language
  • infants teach themselves
  • social impulses foster infant language

Theory 1 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

Theory 2 Infants Teach Themselves
  • Chomsky and LAD (Language Acquisition
    Device)hypothesized neurological (inborn)
    structure that prewires all children for
    language, including basic aspects of intonation,
    grammar, and vocabulary
  • infants innately ready to use their minds to
    understand and speak whatever language offered to
  • they are experience expectant

Theory Three 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
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