Chapter 5 COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN INFANCY
Key Elements of Piaget's Theory • Action = Knowledge • Four universal stages in fixed order • Development = physical maturation and exposure to relevant experiences • Schemes adapt and change
What principles underlie this cognitive growth? • Assimilation • Accommodation • Schemes Will you do better on the next test if you assimilate or accommodate the material?
Earliest Stage of Cognitive Growth Sensorimotor Period • Invariant order of stages and six substages • Individual differences in rate • Transitions include characteristics of both stages
Figure 5-2Object Permanence Before an infant has understood the idea of object permanence, he will not search for an object that has been hidden right before his eyes. But several months later, he will search for it, illustrating that he has attained object permanence. Why is the concept of object permanence important?
Assessing Piagetian Theory PROS • Descriptions of child cognitive development accurate in many ways • Piaget was pioneering figure in field of development • Children learn by acting on environment • Broad outlines of sequence of cognitive development and increasing cognitive accomplishments are generally accurate CONS • Substantial disagreement over validity of theory and many of its specific predictions • Stage conception questioned • Connection between motor development and cognitive development exaggerated • Object permanence can occur earlier under certain conditions • Onset of age of imitation questioned • Cultural variations not considered
What is information-processing? • Identifies the way that individuals take in, store, and use information • Involves quantitative changes in ability to organize and manipulate information • Increases sophistication, speed, and capacity in information processing characterizes cognitive growth • Focuses on types of “mental programs” used when seeking to solve problems
Encoding—storage—retrieval Information Processing The process by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved.
How do you compute? Take a few minutes to write down an example of how you do each of the following: • Encoding • Storage • Retrieval
Unexpected Expertise • Infants have the ability to learn subtle statistical patterns and relationships • These results are consistent with a growing body of research showing that the mathematical skills of infants are surprisingly good • Infants as young as five months are able to calculate the outcome of simple addition and subtraction problems Figure 5-4 Mickey Mouse Math Researcher Dr. Karen Wynn found that five-month-olds like Michelle Follet, pictured here, reacted differently according to whether the number of Mickey Mouse statuettes they saw represented correct or incorrect addition. Do you think this ability is unique to humans? How would you find out?
Automatization • Degree to which activity requires attention • Helps with initial encounters with stimuli through easy and automatic information processing
What automatic processes are being engaged as you listen to this lecture?(Remember…sleep is NOT an automatic process!)
What do you think? Infants cannot remember…anything?
Memory Capabilities in Infancy Getting a kick out of that! • Kicking research demonstrates increase with age in memory capacities • Infants who have learned the association • between a moving mobile and kicking • showed surprising recall ability when they • were exposed to a reminder (Bearce & Rovee-Collier, 2006; DeFrancisco & Rovee- • Collier, 2008; Moher, Tuerk & Feigenson, 2012)..
Is infant memory qualitatively different from that in older children and adults? • Information is processed similarly throughout life span • Kind of information being processed changes and different parts of brain may be used
How long do memories last? • Researchers disagree on the age from which memories can be retrieved • Early studies infantile amnesia • Myers clear evidence of early memory • Physical trace of a memory in brain appears to be relatively permanent • Memories may not be easily, or accurately, retrieved
So…do infants remember? • Theoretical possibility for interfered memories to remain intact from a very young • Most cases memories of personal experiences in infancy do not last into adulthood • Memories of personal experience seem not to become accurate before age 18 to 24 months
Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory • Advances in brain scan technology, as well as studies of adults with brain damage, suggest that there are two separate systems involved with long-term memory: explicit and implicit memory • Explicit and implicit memories emerge at different rates and involve different parts of the brain • The earliest memories seem to be implicit, and they involve the cerebellum and brain stem
Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory(continued) • The forerunner of explicit memory involves the hippocampus, but true explicit memory doesn't emerge until the second half of the first year • When explicit memory does emerge, it involves an increasing number of areas of the cortex of the brain
What Is Infant Intelligence? Developmental specialists have devised several approaches to illuminate the nature of individual differences in intelligence during infancy
Are developmental scales useful? YES • Provide a good snapshot of current developmental level • Provide objective assessment of behavior relative to norms NO • Do not provide good prediction for future development Maybe?
Information Processing Approaches to Individual Differences in Intelligence • Using IP approach suggests relationship between information processing efficiency and cognitive abilities • Moderately strong correlation between early information processing capabilities and later IQ measures • Predicting child may do well on IQ tests later in life is not same as predicting child will be successful • More recent information processing approaches continuous manner from infancy to the later stages of life
And so…what does IP research reveal? Relationship between information processing efficiency and cognitive abilities • Correlate moderately well with later measures of intelligence • More efficient information processing during the 6 months following birth is related to higher intelligence scores between 2 and 12 years of age and other measures of cognitive competence
What about the multimodal approach? Cross-modal transference • Ability to identify a stimulus previously experienced through only one sense by using another sense is associated with intelligence
Assessing the IP Approach PROS • Often uses more precise measures of cognitive ability • Critical in providing information about infant cognition CONS • Precision makes it more difficult to get overall sense of cognitive development
Taking the Einstein Out of Baby Einstein • Whether parents actively engaged their children with the DVD or just passively watched it, those children did not learn the words significantly better than the control group. • Only the children who were learning the words from their parent (with no DVD) learned them better than the control group • Babies learn vocabulary best when they initiate the learning and when they choose the object to be labeled.