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Infant Capacities and the Process of Change. The Development of Children (5 th ed.) Cole, Cole & Lightfoot Chapter 4. What does this mean?.

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infant capacities and the process of change

Infant Capacities and the Process of Change

The Development of Children (5th ed.)

Cole, Cole & Lightfoot

Chapter 4

what does this mean
What does this mean?

“Babies control and bring up their families as much as they are controlled by them; in fact, we may say that the family brings up a baby by being brought up by him.”

Erik Erikson in Childhood and Society

why is this the case
Why is this the case?

Compared with many animals that are able to negotiate their environments at birth almost as well as their parents, human beings are born in a state of marked immaturity…. For many years, human offspring must depend on their parents and other adults for their survival.”

Cole, Cole & Lightfoot, p. 114

overview of the journey
Overview of the Journey
  • Brain development
  • Earliest capacities
  • Coordination with the social world
  • Mechanisms of development
  • First postnatal BSB shift
brain development

Brain Development

Neurons and Neural Networks

Experience and Development

The CNS and the Brain

slide6

At birth, the brain has all the cells it will have, yet it is ¼ the size of an adult brain. Why?

  • Dendrite size and branching
  • Axon branching and myelination (speed)
experience and development
Experience and Development

Synapticpruning

Exuberant synapto-genesis

rats raised in enriched environments
Rats Raised in Enriched Environments
  • Increased rates of learning in standard laboratory tasks, such as learning a maze
  • Increased overall weight of the cerebral cortex (the part of the brain that integrates sensory information)
  • Increased amounts of acetylcholinesterase, a brain enzyme that enhances learning
  • Larger neuronal cell bodies and glial cells (which provide insulation, support and nutrients to neuronal cells)
  • More synaptic connections

Rosenzweig, 1984

active interaction with the environment
Active Interaction with the Environment
  • Rats were raised with an enriched environment but were housed singly in small cages so that could do no more than observe what was going on around them
  • The learning capacity of these rats differed in no way from that of the animals that were housed in individual cages away from the enriched environment
  • What might this imply for child-rearing? For teaching?
six mammalian species
Six Mammalian Species

Why the difference?

cortex development
Cortex Development
  • Matures later than the lower-lying areas of the CNS, spinal cord, brain stem
  • Primary motor area
    • First area of the cortex to develop
    • Responsible for voluntary (nonreflexive) movement
    • Begins with raising head (1 month), control of arms and trunk (3 months); leg control is last to develop
  • Primary sensory areas
    • Begins with touch, then visual, then auditory
    • By 3 months, all primary sensory areas are relatively mature
  • Frontal cortex(e.g., planning, decision-making)
    • Begins to function in infancy but continues to develop throughout childhood
earliest capacities

Earliest Capacities

Sensory Processes

Response Processes

sensory processes
Sensory Processes
  • Normal full-term newborns enter the world with all sensory systems functioning, but not all of these systems have developed to the same level due to different developmental rates (i.e., heterochrony)
  • Indications of sensation
    • Turning of the head, variation in brain waves, changes in rate of sucking on a nipple
    • Habituation: Becomes bored and stops attending
    • Dishabituation: Interest is renewed after the infant perceives a change in the stimulus
hearing
Hearing
  • Infants only minutes old will startle with a loud noise and may even cry
  • Will also turn their heads toward the source of a noise
hearing1
Hearing
  • Infants can distinguish the sound of the human voice from other kinds of sounds, and seem to prefer it
    • Are particularly interested in speech with the high pitch and slow, exaggerated pronun-ciation (i.e., “baby talk”)
    • Evidence that by 2 days old, some babies would rather hear the language that has been spoken around them than a foreign language
hearing capacity
Hearing Capacity

At 2 months of age:

  • Present phoneme (e.g., /pa/)
  • Habituate (i.e., return to baseline sucking rate)
  • New phoneme(e.b., /ba/)
  • Dishabituate(i.e., sucking rate increases)
new consonant
New Consonant
  • Both groups hear a consonant sound
  • Habituate
  • Experimental group hears a new consonant sound at time marked 0
  • Infants are able to distinguish consonant sounds
auditory discrimination and culture
Auditory Discrimination and Culture

Infants can distinguish among language sounds that do not occur in their native language, but this capacity diminishes during the first year of life.

infants visual capacity
Infants’ Visual Capacity

Based on studies of infant eye movement when a striped visual field passes in front of the eyes, it is evident that visual capacity increases dramatically over the first few months of life.

fantz looking chamber 1960s
Fantz Looking Chamber (1960s)
  • Demonstrated that babies less than 2 days old can distinguish among visual forms
  • Tend, however, to focus on areas of high contrast, such as lines and angles
development of visual scanning
Development of Visual Scanning

Due to brain maturation

perception of faces
Perception of Faces
  • Infants show a preference for patterned stimuli over plain stimuli
  • Babies as young as 9 minutes old will look longer at a schematic moving face than a scrambled one
expressions of various tastes
Expressions of Various Tastes
  • Neutral stimulus (water)
  • Sweet stimulus
  • Sour stimulus
  • Bitter stimulus
response processes
Response Processes
  • Reflexes
    • Automatic (involuntary) responses to specific types of stimulation…
  • Emotions
    • Two basic emotions, contentment (+) & distress (-), split into primary emotions (e.g., joy, anger, fear) at 3-6 months…
  • Temperament
    • Individual modes of responding to the environment that appear to be consistent across situations and stable over time…
grasping reflex
Grasping Reflex
  • When a finger or some other object is pressed against the baby’s palm, the baby’s fingers close around it
  • Disappears in 3-4 months; replaced by voluntary grasping
stepping reflex
Stepping Reflex
  • When the baby is held upright over a flat surface, he makes rhythmic leg movements
  • Disappears in first 2 months, but can be reinstated in special contexts (e.g., when partially submerged in water)
infant expression of emotions
Infant Expression of Emotions

Joy

Anger

Sadness

Disgust

Distress

Interest

Fear

Surprise

infant expression of emotions1
Infant Expression of Emotions

Joy

Joy

Anger

Anger

Sadness

Sadness

Disgust

Disgust

Distress

Distress

Interest

Interest

Fear

Fear

Surprise

Surprise

temperaments
Temperaments
  • Three broad categories
    • Easy babies: Playful, regular in their biological functions, adapt readily to new circumstances
    • Difficult babies: Irritable, irregular in their biological functions, often respond intensely and negatively to new situations or try to withdraw from them
    • Slow-to-warm-up babies: Low in activity level, responses are typically mild, tend to withdraw from new situations, require more time than easy babies to adapt to change
  • Moderate temperamental stability over first 8 years of childhood
    • Impact of both genetic and environmental components
sleep patterns in infants
Sleep Patterns in Infants

NREM Sleep

REM Sleep

During first 2-3 months of life, infants begin their sleep with active (REM) sleep and then fall into quiet (NREM) sleep. Subsequently, the sequence reverses and shifts toward the adult pattern.

pattern of sleep wake cycles
Pattern of Sleep/Wake Cycles

Newborns sleep ~16½ hours /day, but the longest period of sleep is only 3-4 hours.

feeding
Feeding
  • When fed “on demand”, majority of newborns preferred a 3-hour schedule
  • Interval gradually increased to 4-hour schedule by 2 ½ months
  • By 7 or 8 months, 4x/day
nursing behavior
Nursing Behavior

Early feeding attempts are rather uncoordinated

Infant’s nostrils are blocked while he/she is attempting to feed

This elicits a head-withdrawal reflex that interferes with feeding

Later attempts become much more coordinated resulting in nursing – an evidence of learning.

crying
Crying
  • Increases from birth to about 6 weeks and then starts to decrease
  • At a few months of age, infants begin to cry voluntarily (“crying on purpose”) as the cerebral cortex becomes involved
  • Crying helped by nursing, holding baby to shoulder, rocking, patting, cuddling, swaddling (reduces over-stimulation from uncontrolled limb movements)
mechanisms of developmental change

Mechanisms of Developmental Change

Biological-Maturation Perspective

Environmental-Learning Perspective

Constructivist Perspective

Cultural-Context Perspective

mechanisms of developmental change1

Mechanisms of Developmental Change

Biological-MaturationPerspective

reflex coordination
Reflex Coordination
  • Early, simple reflexes arise from the brain stem
  • More complex, coordinated reflexes result from the maturation of the cerebral cortex
early attention to human speech
Early Attention to Human Speech

In 1-month-old baby born without a cerebral cortex

  • On first exposure to sound of human speech, there is a marked decrease in heart rate, indicating attention
  • After 5 additional presentations of the sound, the infant has habituated
mechanisms of developmental change2

Mechanisms of Developmental Change

Environmental-LearningPerspective

classical conditioning
Classical Conditioning
  • Sight of a light (CS) elicits no particular response
  • Loud sound of gong (UCS) causes baby to blink (UCR)
  • Sight of light (CS) is paired with sound of gong (UCS), which evokes an eyeblink (UCR)
  • Sight of light (CD) is sufficient to cause the baby to blink (CR), evidence that learning has occurred
operant conditioning
Operant Conditioning
  • An organism will tend to repeat behaviors that lead to rewards and will tend to give up behaviors that fail to produce rewards or lead to punishment
  • Requirement: Behavior must occur before it can be reinforced
operant conditioning1
Operant Conditioning
  • After only 25 occasions on which the head turning was reinforced with the pacifier, most of the babies had tripled the rate at which they turned their heads.
  • Conversely, those infants who were rewarded with a pacifier for holding their heads still, learned to move their heads less during the course of the experiment.
mechanisms of developmental change3

Mechanisms of Developmental Change

ConstructivistPerspective(Piaget)

piaget s theory of developmental change via schemas
Piaget’s Theory of Developmental Change via Schemas

Assimilation(Incorporated into anexisting schema)

Accommodation(Modification of aprior schema)

Equilibration

Leads to developmental stages…

mechanisms of developmental change4

Mechanisms of Developmental Change

Cultural-ContextPerspective

reciprocal relationships
Reciprocal Relationships

Presence of milk stimulates infant sucking, which in turn triggers the release of hormones that increase milk production and release

developmental change incorporates cultural variations
Developmental Change Incorporates Cultural Variations
  • Additional sources of developmental change
    • Active contribution of other people in the child’s community
    • Cultural “designs for living” accumulated over the history of the larger social group

Case in PointBottle-feeding vs. Breast-feeding

first postnatal bio social behavioral shift

First PostnatalBio-Social-Behavioral Shift

Occurs at 2½ MonthsSocial Smiling!