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Cognitive Development in Infancy

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  1. 5 Cognitive Development in Infancy • This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: • any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; • preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or part, of any images; • any rental, lease, or lending of the program.

  2. Piaget’s Views Recall from Chapter Two • Assimilation • Process of fusing incoming information to existing schemes to make sense of experiences • Accommodation • Changing a scheme to incorporate new information • Sensorimotor Intelligence • Refinement of innate schemes by experiences of the senses and motor actions

  3. Piaget’s Views • Primary circular reaction: simple repetitive actions organized around the infant’s own body • Secondary circular reaction: baby repeatedly exhibits behavior to produce a desired outcome • Means-end behavior: purposeful behavior to achieve a goal • Tertiary circular reaction: experiment with different behaviors to ascertain the outcomes

  4. SENSORIMOTOR SUBSTAGE AGE 1. Basic Reflexes Birth to 1 month 2. Primary Circular Reactions 1 to 4 months 3. Secondary Circular Reactions 4 to 8 months 4. Coordination of Secondary Schemes 8 to 12 months 5. Tertiary Circular Reactions 12 to 18 months 6. Transition to Symbolic Thought 18 to 24 months Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage

  5. Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage Object Permanence • The realization that objects still exist when hidden from sight • 2 months – rudimentary expectations shown by surprise when an object disappears • 6 – 8 months – looking for a missing object for a brief period of time • 8 – 12 months – reaching for or search for a toy that is completely hidden

  6. Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage Imitation • 2 months – can imitate actions they could see themselves make • 8 – 12 months – can imitate other people’s facial expressions • 1 year – imitation of any action that wasn’t in the child’s repertoire begins • 18 months – deferred imitation (a child’s imitation of some action at a later time) begins

  7. Challenges to Piaget’s Views • Piaget underestimated cognitive capacity of infants • He may have wrongly equated infant’s lack of physical ability with lack of cognitive understanding • Object permanence studies incorporating computer technology suggest it occurs much earlier than Piaget predicted

  8. Modern Studies of Object Permanence • Baillargeon • Babies as young as 4 months show clear signs of object permanence • Recent theories • Developing object permanence more a process of elaboration than of discovery

  9. Figure 5.1 Facial Gesture Imitation in Newborns

  10. Spelke’s Alternative Approach • Babies have inborn assumptions about objects and their movement • Violation of expectations method • Researchers move an object the opposite way from that which the infant comes to expect

  11. Figure 5.2 Spelke’s Classic Study of Object Perception Figure 5.2

  12. Figure 5.3 Baillergeon’s Study of Object Stability Perception

  13. Figure 5.4 Toddler’s Understanding of Object Movement

  14. Learning, Categorizing, and Remembering • Learning • Permanent changes in behavior that result from experience • Classical conditioning • Learning of emotional responses as early as the first week of life • Stimulus-response connection • Operant conditioning • Both sucking responses and head-turning have been increased using reinforcement • Learning from models too

  15. Learning, Categorizing, and Remembering Schematic Learning • The organization of experiences into expectancies or “known” combinations (schemas) • Categories • By 7 months infants actively use categories to process information. • Cannot process levels of categories • Babies respond differently to animals versus furniture but not to dogs versus birds • Hierarchical or superordinate categories appear by age 2

  16. Learning, Categorizing, and Remembering Memory • Carolyn Rovee-Collier’s research • Babies as young as 3 months can remember specific objects and their own actions for as long as a week • Young infants more cognitively sophisticated than previously assumed

  17. Figure 5.5 Rovee-Collier’s Study of Infant Memory

  18. The Beginnings of Language The Behaviorist View: B. F. Skinner • Begins with babbling, which parents reinforce • Respond to grammatical use of words with reinforcement • Withhold reinforcement for nongrammatical words • Correct grammar reinforced, becomes more frequent • BUT apparently NOT what happens—parents respond to all vocalizations

  19. The Beginnings of Language The Nativist View Noam Chomsky • Children make rule-governed grammatical errors • LAD – Language Acquisition Device • An innate language processor which contains the basic grammatical structure of all human language

  20. The Beginnings of Language The Interactionist View • Infants prepared to pay attention to language • Extract general principles of language • Language development part of broader process of cognitive development • Language is used to express only those meanings the child has already formulated • New words learned when they help communicate thoughts and ideas

  21. Influences on Language Development • Infant Directed Speech • Speech in a higher pitch • Adults repeat often, introduce minor variations, use slightly more elongated sentences • Babies prefer Infant Directed Speech to adult speech • A baby more easily imitates a correct grammatical form “recast” from his own sentences by an adult • Children whose parents talk to them a lot develop richer vocabularies and more complex sentences

  22. Questions to Ponder • Which language theory appears to be right to you? Why? • What are three effective strategies parents may use to help stimulate language development in their children?

  23. Early Milestones of Language Development • Birth – 1 month • Crying predominant sound • 1 – 2 months • Laughing and cooing sounds (aaaaa) • 6 – 7 months • Babbling; repetitive vowel–consonant combinations • 9-10 months • Hand gesture-vocalization combinations

  24. Word Recognition Receptive language • The ability to understand words • 8 months — begin to store words in memory • 9 – 10 months — can understand 20 – 30 words • 13 months — 100 words

  25. The First Words Expressive language • The ability to produce words • 12-13 months — babies begin to say first words • Words learned slowly in context with specific situations and cues

  26. The First Words • Holophrases • Combining a single word with gestures to make a complete thought • Used between 12 and 18 months • Naming Explosion • Used between 16 and 24 months • 16 months old – 50 words in vocabulary • 24 months old – 320 words • Vocabulary grows in spurts

  27. Figure 5.6 Vocabulary Growth in the Second Year

  28. The First Sentences • Sentences appear at 18 – 24 months • Child has a threshold vocabulary of 100-200 words • Sentences short, generally 2 or 3 words, and simple • Sometimes called “telegraphic speech.” • Create sentences following rules

  29. Individual Differences in Language Development • Differences in rate of language development • A wide range of normal variations exists in sentence structures • Most children catch up • Those who don’t catch up have poor receptive language

  30. Individual Differences in Language Development Differences in Style • Expressive style • Early vocabulary linked to social relationships rather than objects • Referential style • Early vocabulary made up of names of things or people • Often advanced in understanding adult language

  31. Figure 5.7 Variations in the Rate of Language Acquisition

  32. Language Development Across Cultures • Cooing, babbling, holophrases, and telegraphic speech typically found in all languages • Use of specific word order in early sentences is not the same • Particular inflections are learned in highly varying and specific order

  33. Measuring Intelligence in Infancy • Bailey Scales of Infant Development • Measure sensory and motor skills • Help identify children with serious developmental delays • Not as useful predicting later intelligence • Measures of habituation MIGHT relate to later measures of intelligence