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  1. A Topical Approach toLIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Chapter Five: Motor, Sensory, and Perceptual Development John W. Santrock

  2. Dynamic Systems View • Dynamic systems theory • Infants assemble motor skills for perceiving and acting (perceptions and actions are coupled) • Motivation creates new behaviors • Perceptions “fine tunes” movements with repetitive actions • Infants explore and select possible solutions of new task; assembles adaptive patterns

  3. Dynamic Systems View • Dynamic systems theory • Constraints of possible actions and skills • Infants body/mind maturation • Environmental support • Not a passive process • Genes do not dictate unfolding sequence of skills

  4. Reflexes • Built-in reactions to stimuli • Govern newborn’s movements • Genetically carried survival mechanisms • Allow adaptation to environment • Provides opportunity to learn • Some disappear (e.g., grasping), some last throughout life (e.g., coughing)

  5. Reflexes

  6. Gross Motor Skills • Involve large-muscle activities • Foundations for development • Posture; linked to sensory information for • Regulating balance/equilibrium • Vision and hearing • Self-control increases with infant age • Linked to neural pathway development • Improved by repetitive movements

  7. Gross Motor Skills • Infancy • Development of posture • Locomotion and crawling • Learning to walk • Caregivers important • Safety of child and environment during efforts • First year: developmental milestones • Timing of onset varies

  8. Gross Motor Skills • Second year • More accomplishments; increased independence • Initiates more interaction with others • Still need safety restrictions on movements • Parent/caregiver involvement • Encourage/guide child’s development • Structured exercise not recommended • Cultural variations exist

  9. Milestones in Gross Motor Development Fig. 5.3

  10. Gross Motor Skills • Childhood • Improved movements; more mastery, confidence • Boys usually outperform girls • Extended periods of paying attention, sitting still • More fatigued from extended inactivity • Benefit more from exercise breaks • Organized sports best for development • Positive and negatives consequences

  11. Gross Motor Skills • Childhood • Organized sports best for development • Provide opportunities to learn how to compete • Improves self-esteem • Opportunities for peer relations/friendships • Reduces risk of becoming obese • Three or more hours per week beyond school

  12. Gross Motor Skills • Childhood • Organized sports can have negative experiences • Pressure to win or achieve • Risk of physical injuries • Distraction from academic work • Unrealistic expectations for success • Impacted by professional sports and media • Dangers of exploitation

  13. Guidelines for Parents and Coaches of Children in Sports

  14. Gross Motor Skills • Adolescence • Skills continue to improve • Adulthood • Peak physical performance before age 30 • Often between ages 19 and 26 • After age 30; biological functions decline • Not uniform; organ decline varies

  15. Gross Motor Skills • Late Adulthood • Decreased activity level linked to biological and psychological health • Natural aging leads to gradual deterioration • Lifestyle habits/patterns have impact • Physical activity has more positive effects than educational intervention

  16. Movement and Aging Fig. 5.4

  17. Fine Motor Skills • Infancy • Involves more finely tuned movements, such as finger dexterity • Reaching and grasping • Size, shape, and texture of object matter • Experience affects vision, perceptions, skills • Exercising of skills, safety are important • Palmar grasp, pincer grip at end of first year

  18. Fine Motor Skills • Childhood and adolescence • By age 3; ability to stack/balance objects • Precision increases with age; show desire to build projects — needs adult guidance to complete • Linked to increased myelination of CNS • Hands, coordination improve • Begin to show manipulative skills of adults by age 12 • Musical instruments, fine quality crafts

  19. Fine Motor Skills • Adult development • Skills may decline in middle and late adulthood • Dexterity decreases • In healthy adults, functional skills are good • Pathological conditions may result in weakness of paralysis of hands • Competent handwriting into old age

  20. Fine Motor Skills • Older Adult development • Slowed movements due to • Neural noise: interference with incoming stimuli • Strategy: ability to perform as usual • Compensation by engaging in other strategies • Capable of learning new motor tasks; usually perform slower than young adults

  21. Sensory and Perceptual • Sensation • Information (stimuli) processed by sensory receptors • Eyes (retina, optic nerve), ears (cochlea, auditory nerve), tongue, nose, skin • Perception • What is perceived (interpreted) from stimuli

  22. Sensory and Perceptual • Ecological view • Perceptual system selects which information to process from environment • Guides active/interactive behaviors • Affordances • Opportunities to interact with objects within one’s capabilities • Adaptation: combining of perceptions and actions

  23. Sensory and Perceptual • Infant perception testing • Visual preference method • To determine if infants can distinguish between various stimuli • Habituation: decreased response to stimuli • Dishabituation: recovery of habituated response • High-amplitude sucking: nipple sucking rate indicates preferences/discriminatory abilities

  24. Sensory and Perceptual • Infant perception testing • Orienting response • Tracking by moving head or eyes to follow moving object or sounds • Use of startle response — reaction to noise • Equipment used • Video recorders, computers, recorders of bodily functions (heart rate, etc.)

  25. Sensory and Perceptual • Visual perception • Variances due to differences in how eyes function over time (colors, distances, light presence) • Infancy: world is “blooming, buzzing confusion” • Visual acuity increases with age • Preference for human faces soon after birth • Discriminates female from male at 3 months

  26. Infants’ Visual Perception

  27. Sensory and Perceptual • Visual perception • Perceptual constancy • Physical world perceptions remain constant • Size constancy • Recognition that object remains the same even though the retinal image changes • Shape constancy • Recognition that object remains the same even though its orientation changes

  28. Sensory and Perceptual • Visual perception • Depth perception • Visual cliff experiments • Perceptions affected by experiences • Debate over affect of nature versus nurture

  29. Sensory and Perceptual • Childhood • Improved color detection, visual expectations, controlling eye movements (for reading) • Preschoolers may be farsighted • Signs of vision problems • Rubbing eyes, blinking, squinting • Irritability at games requiring distance vision • Closing one eye, tilting head to see, thrusting head forward to see

  30. Sensory and Perceptual • Adulthood and aging • Loss of Accommodation —presbyopia • Decreased blood supply to eye — smaller visual field, increased blind spot • Slower dark adaptation, decline in motion sensitivity • Declining color vision: green-blue-violet • Declining depth perception — problems with steps or curbs

  31. Glare Vision and Aging Fig. 5.12

  32. Sensory and Perceptual • Diseases of the eyes • Cataracts: thickening eye lens that causes vision to become cloudy, opaque, distorted • Glaucoma: damage to optic nerve because of pressure created by buildup of fluid in eye • Macular degeneration: involves deterioration of retina

  33. Hearing • Fetus, Infant, and child • Fetus hears in last months before birth • Newborns/Infants: • Loudness: cannot hear soft sounds well • Less sensitive to pitch; sensitive to human speech • Localization: distinguish general direction of sound origination

  34. Hearing • Fetus, Infant, and child • Most children’s hearing is adequate • Early screening in infancy for problems • Hearing loss corrections: • Surgery, hearing aids, cochlear implants • Otitis media: middle ear infection • Unattended results in hearing loss, language development, socialization • Treatments: antibiotics, tubes in ears

  35. Hearing • Adolescence • Most have excellent hearing • Risks for loss: loud/maximum volume music • Adulthood • Decline begins about age 40; other factors impact • Males lose sensitivity to high-pitched sounds sooner than females • Gender differences: due to occupation? • Treatments: hearing aids, cochlear implants

  36. Other Senses • Touch and pain • Newborns: sensitivity to pain, touch • Circumcision of boys; amazing resiliency • Use of anesthesia in surgery is controversial • Adulthood: most research on old age • Touch sensitivity: decreases in old age • Smell: • Decline can start in 20s; declines with age/health • Affects satisfaction with life, food

  37. Other Senses • Taste • Fetus: sensitivity present before birth • Newborns: facial reactions to various tastes • Infants: reference for “salty” tastes at 4 mos. • Older adults: decline in ability to distinguish sour, sweet, and bitter solutions • Severity affected by medications and health • Seasoned food preferences lead to junk food

  38. Other Senses • Intermodal perception • Ability to relate and integrate information about two or more sensory modalities, such as vision and hearing • Exists in newborns; sharpens with experience in first year

  39. Perceptual-Motor Coupling • Distinction between perceiving and doing? • Controversial for some researchers • Explores how people assemble motor behaviors for perceiving and acting • Babies coordinate movements with perceptual information to maintain balance, reach for objects, etc. • Driving a car is coupling; declines in late adulthood

  40. The End