Chapter 4 Physical Development and Health in Infancy and Toddlerhood.doc

Chapter 4 Physical Development and Health in Infancy and Toddlerhood.doc

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Chapter 4: Physical Development and Health in Infancy and Toddlerhood The Growing Child by Denise Boyd & Helen Bee 1. What parts of the brain are the most and least developed at birth? What do these parts of the brain do? The cortex, the convoluted gray matter that wraps around the mid brain and is involved in perception, body movement, thinking, and language. 2. What is a synapse? Connections between neurons. 3. What is pruning? When/how does it occur? Each burst of synaptogenesis is followed by a period of pruning in which unnecessary pathways and connections are eliminated. The unused connections die off getting “pruned” by the system. 4. Whose brain is more resilient in the face of insult (e.g., malnutrition, head injury), infants or adults? Why? Infants have more unused synapses than adults, they can bounce back from host of insults to the brain more easily than an adult. 5. How do synaptogenesis and pruning help explain how infants within more enriched homes might develop better cognitive skills later? “Use it or lose it.” A child growing up in a rich or intellectually challenging environment will retain a more complex network of synapses than one growing up with fewer forms of stimulation. 6. What is myelination? What nerves myelinate first/earlier? Myelination is the process in neuronal development in which sheaths made of substance called myelin gradually cover individual axons and electrically insulate them from one another to improve the conductivity of the nerve. From head to tail and torso to limbs. The nerves serving muscle cells in the neck and shoulders are myelinated earlier than those serving the abdomen. 7. How much television does the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest children under the age of two watch per week? Describe Dimitri Christakis’ study that this recommendation is based on. Children under 2 should watch no television at all. Studies show that excessive TV watching in the first 3 years of life predisposes children to develop attention deficit hyperactive disorder in the school age years.
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