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Achievements of the First Year. The Development of Children (5 th ed.) Cole, Cole & Lightfoot Chapter 5. Overview of the Journey. Biological changes Perceptual-motor development Cognitive changes Relationship with the social world The next bio-social-behavioral shift.

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achievements of the first year

Achievements of the First Year

The Development of Children (5th ed.)

Cole, Cole & Lightfoot

Chapter 5

overview of the journey
Overview of the Journey
  • Biological changes
  • Perceptual-motor development
  • Cognitive changes
  • Relationship with the social world
  • The next bio-social-behavioral shift
biological changes

Biological Changes

Size and Shape

Bone and Muscle

The Brain

size and shape
Size and Shape
  • Triple in weight… (7  21 lbs.)
  • Add 10 inches height… (20  30 in.)
  • Change in body proportions…
    • At birth, head is 70% of adult size and accounts for 25% total body length
    • Legs at birth are not much longer than their heads; by adulthood, legs account for about half of total height
    • Result in lowering the center of gravity (balance, walking)
environmental conditions influence growth rate
Environmental Conditions Influence Growth Rate

Babies born in Malawi face conditions such as widespread mal-nutrition, chronic poverty, disease, and a rising HIV/AIDS infection rate. As a result of this complicated array of factors, Malawian infants grow at a slower rate than their American counterparts.

where is malawi
Where is Malawi?
  • Info on Malawi
  • Table Talk 1
    • What kinds of things do infants do in Malawi?
    • What do infants do in our area?
    • What learning opportunities are similar?
    • What learning opportunities are different?
bone muscle gender
Bone, Muscle, & Gender
  • Bone ossification
    • First in hand and wrist (pick up)
  • Increases in muscle mass
    • Associated with ability to stand alone and walk
  • Sex differences
    • Females are ahead 3 weeks prenatal, 6 weeks at birth, 2 years at puberty
    • Girls get their permanent teeth, start puberty, and reach full size earlier than boys
brain development
Brain Development
  • Exuberant synaptogenesis (3-12 months)
    • Density of synapses is double what it will be in early adolescence
    • As a result of this overproduction of synapses, infants are prepared to establish neural connections for virtually any kind of experience
    • “Synapses that are regularly used flourish and are strengthened, while those that go unused are gradually ‘pruned away’—that is, they atrophy and die off.” (p. 183)
brain development1
Brain Development
  • 2½ - 4 months: Surge in visual cortex
  • 6 months: Spurt in motor cortex
  • 7 - 9 months: Rapid growth of frontal cortex (used inintegrating information)
    • Prefrontal area plays a particularly important role in the development of voluntary behavior (e.g., impulse inhibition)
table talk 2
Table Talk 2
  • Why is it important for survival that brain synapses are ready to develop as a result of “any kind of experience”?
perceptual motor development

Perceptual-Motor Development

Reaching and Grasping


reaching and grasping
Reaching and Grasping
  • Newborns: Perceive an object moving before them and reach for it (i.e., visually initiated reaching)
  • 2 ½ months: Coordination of reach and grasp
  • 5 months: No longer reach for an object beyond their grasp
  • 9 months: Guide movements with a single glance
fine motor movements
Fine Motor Movements

Babies seem to perceive that different objects offer different affordances – properties that lend themselves to particular ways of interacting with them

perceptual motor exploration
Perceptual-Motor Exploration

Contour following(exact shape)



Unsupported holding(weight)

Static contact(temperature)

Lateral motion(texture)


Development of Locomotion

1. Baby creeps and uses legs:

2. Baby gains control of upper body:

4. Baby is mobile!

3. Baby coordinates

upper and lower body movements:

what is the role of practice
What is the Role of Practice?
  • During the 1930s and 1940s it was commonly believed that learning and experience played little or no role in the development of such motor milestones as sitting and walking.
  • Recent findings: Motor development can be speeded up by extensive practice or slowed when adults seek to protect the child against danger, depending upon the cultural circumstances.
table talk 3
Table Talk 3
  • If motor development is practiced, what should parents do with their babies?
  • Make a list of 10 things parents should do with their babies to ensure optimal brain and motor development
cognitive changes

Cognitive Changes

Piaget’s Constructivist Explanation

Are Infants Precocious? Challenges to Piaget’s Theory


Growth of Memory

object permanence is
Object Permanence is…
  • Understanding that objects
    • Have substance
    • Maintain their identify when they change location
    • Continue to exist (ordinarily) when out of sight – otherwise, “out of sight is out of mind”
  • An early indicator of the development of representation

For example, an infant younger than 8 months of age does not search for an object that has been removed from sight


Infant does not track the movement of the train in the tunnel, is happy to see the train again, but is not surprised that it is now a different color or shape.

Lack of Representation

incomplete object permanence 8 12 months of age
Incomplete Object Permanence (8-12 months of age)

After an infant has successfully searched for an object hidden in one location, the object is then hidden in a new location while the infant watches.

The infant will search for the object where it was previously found.

developmental sequence of object permanence
Developmental Sequence of Object Permanence

1. Infant does not search for objects that have been removed from sight.

2. Infant orients to place where objects have been removed from sight.

3. Infant will reach for a partially hidden object but stops if it disappears.

4. Infant will search for a completely hidden object; keeps searching the original location of the object even if it is moved to another location in full view of the infant.

5. Infant will search for an object after seeing it moved but not if it is moved in secret.

6. Infant will search for a hidden object, certain that it exists somewhere.

intermodel perception
Intermodel Perception
  • Infants held two rings, one in each hand, under a cloth that prevented them from seeing the rings or their own bodies.
  • For some infants the rings were connected by a rigid bar and therefore moved together. For others the rings were connected by a flexible cord and therefore moved independently.
  • All the infants were allowed to hold and feel just one or the other type of rings until they had largely lost interest (habituated).
  • They were then shown both types of rings.
  • The babies looked longer at the rings that were different from those they had been exploring with their hands.

Streri & Spelke, 1988

infant arithmetic
Infant Arithmetic?

Infants (4 months) looked longer at the end display when there was only one doll,

suggesting that they had mentally calculated the number of dolls

that ought to be behind the screen. [Wynn, 1992]

infant categorizing
Infant Categorizing…
  • Infants (3 months) shown a sequence of pictures of cats were surprised when they saw a picture of a dog, suggesting that they were sensitive to the category of cats
  • Similarly, 3- to 4-month-olds, after having been shown a series of pictures of mammals, looked longer at pictures of non-mammals and furniture than at a picture of a new mammal

Eimas & Quinn, 1994Behl-Chadha et al., 1995

infant categorizing1
Infant Categorizing
  • After three 15-minute sessions, each with a different-color A block, a 3-month-old baby will kick the mobile with yet a fourth color added.
  • But if a new shape is inscribed on the blocks used in the fourth session (e.g., B’s), the baby will not kick, indicating that the baby has formed a category and remembered prior experience
conceptual categories
Conceptual Categories
  • Babies (7 months) treated plastic toy birds and airplanes, which are perceptually similar, as if they were members of the same category
  • Babies (9 -11 months) treated toy airplanes and birds as members of conceptually

different categories, despite the fact that they looked very much alike

Mandler & McDonough, 1993

growth of memory1
Growth of Memory

In one study (Rovee-Collier et al.), a group of 3-month-old babies were trained to activate a mobile by kicking.

The researchers then let an entire month elapse before putting the babies into the experimental situation again.

They knew that this was more than enough time for the babies to forget their training.

However, 1 day before being retested, the 3-month-olds were shown the mobile as a reminder (without allowing them to kick).

The next day, these infants started kicking as soon as the ribbon was tied to one of their legs.

The mere sight of the mobile a day earlier seemed to remind the babies of what they had learned 1 month earlier.

Table Talk 4

1. What do you conclude about the ability of babies to think?

2. If babies have memory, what kinds of things are appropriate for parents to “teach” to their child?

relationship with the social world

Relationship with the Social World



New Relationships

wariness begins at 6 9 months
Wariness (begins at 6-9 months)
  • Infants who are exposed to something new – even a spoonful of cereal from a stranger – display characteristic wariness
  • Another evidence of recall
indicators of new social relationships
Indicators of New Social Relationships

Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky)

  • Assistance provided by adults goes just slightly beyond the child’s current competence; helps child learn new behaviors


  • Seek to be near their primary caregivers and show distress when they are separated, happy when reunited

Secondary Intersubjectivity

  • Primary: face-to-face communication (e.g., social smiling)
  • Secondary: shared communication that refers to objects beyond themselves (e.g., looks when mother points)
indicators of new social relationships1
Indicators of New Social Relationships

Social Referencing

  • Tendency to look to the caregiver for an indication of how one should feel and act (girls will do this more than boys)

Language Development

  • Comprehension: understands words for highly familiar objects (6 months); identifies phrases (8-9 months)
  • Babbling: Vocalizing that includes consonant/vowel repetitions (7 months)
  • Jargoning: Babbling with stress and intonation of actual utterances (12 months)