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Neural and Cognitive Developments in the Early Years . The Life Span Human Development for Healthcare Professionals, Chapter 3. The Brain . Neural Tube Neurulation: the beginning of neural development Neurons Glia Structures of the brain Hindbrain Midbrain Forebrain.

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Neural and cognitive developments in the early years

Neural and Cognitive Developments in the Early Years

The Life Span

Human Development for Healthcare Professionals, Chapter 3


The brain
The Brain

  • Neural Tube

    • Neurulation: the beginning of neural development

    • Neurons

    • Glia

    • Structures of the brain

      • Hindbrain

      • Midbrain

      • Forebrain



Later prenatal brain development
Later Prenatal Brain Development

  • 14-16 weeks: random neural firing begins

  • About 15 weeks: sounds are heard

  • 25 weeks: eyes open and close

  • Critical periods: developmental periods in which a certain stimulus needs to be present in order for sensory organs to function properly or allow specific skills to be learned.


Postnatal brain development
Postnatal Brain Development

  • First year: neurons are still developing at a fast rate, then this slows.

    • Lots of synapses are formed and allow for quick learning

  • 1-12 years of age

    • Neural pruning: the elimination of excess neurons


Cognitive development
Cognitive Development

  • Piaget’s Constructivist Theory: The human brain constructs knowledge

    • Schemas

    • Adaptation

    • Assimilation

    • Accommodation

    • We learn because we are intrinsically motivated to learn



Piaget s stages of cognitive development
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

  • Sensorimotor stage (birth-2 years): stage in which the baby is learning about their body and their surrounding environment through direct action/interaction with it.

    • Object concept: the process babies use to learn about their surroundings.

    • Object permanence: knowing that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist; also, the benchmark that allows us to say an infant is ready to go to the next level of cognitive development



Piaget s stages of cognitive development2
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

  • Sensorimotor stage (con’t)

    • Infant memory: previously it was believed that infant memory was virtually non-existent on more than the rudimentary levels. New research is showing otherwise:

      • Recognition

        • simplest type of memory

        • Believed by researchers up until the past few years to be the only type of memory babies had

      • Recall

        • More complex

        • Deferred imitation


Piaget s stages of cognitive development3
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

  • Preoperational Stage (Ages 2-6)

  • Piaget saw the preschool years as a time of both stability and great change.

  • Preschoolers are in the PREOPERATIONAL STAGE, from age 2 to 7

    • characterized by symbolic thinking

    • Mental reasoning emerges, use of concepts

    • Less dependence on sensorimotor activity for understanding the world

    • Preoperation egocentrism


Piaget s stages of cognitive development4
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

Which row contains more buttons? Preschoolers usually say that the bottom row has more because it looks longer.


Piaget s stages of cognitive development5

Number

Rearranging elements

The type of conservation task grasped the earliest!

Substance

Altering shape (clay, water)

Length

Altering shape, configuration

Area

Rearranging figures

Weight

Altering shape

Volume

Altering shape (water in container)

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development


Understanding language
Understanding Language

  • Phonology: the sound system

    • Babbling

  • Semantics: the meaning of words

    • Vocabulary spurt

    • Fast Mapping

  • Syntax: How we link words together: the rules that govern syntax is grammer

  • Pragmatics: knowing what type of language to use when


How language is learned
How language is learned

  • Behavior theory: language is reinforced

  • Cognitive theory: Language Acquisition Device