lecture5 - Developmental Psychology Professor: S. Shanker...

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Developmental Psychology Professor : S. Shanker TA: J. Burman L
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2 Babies display innate mechanisms that promote dyadic interaction newborns are perceptually attuned to the face, voice, touch, taste, and even movements, with a marked preference shown to the primary caregiver They are drawn to their caregiver’s eyes: to the high energy field at the corners of the eyes They begin that quintessential vocalization for bringing a caregiver running, crying, within a half- hour of birth
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3 Innate mechanisms in Caregiver Breastfeeding triggers oxytocin, enhancing bonding by producing pleasant sensations Adults have visceral response to sound of baby crying; typically pick up and soothe her mothers can distinguish between the crying of their own baby and other babies and can pick out their baby by smell
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4 Bonding is not innate Hardly surprising see these biological mechanisms, given role that of caregiver in infant survival for all mammals But as attachment disorders demonstrate, these mechanisms are from failsafe In fact, one of the defining features of a high at-risk caregiver is precisely the absence of the above ‘natural’ responses to a baby
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5 Attachment Disorders Working with at-risk families drives home that even seemingly ‘natural instincts’ like looking at a caregiver’s eyes, or soothing a crying baby, are not biological givens Effect on caregiver when a baby avoids eye-to-eye contact, or effect on a baby when a caregiver does not nurture, can be quite painful to see, as both infant and caregiver quickly become withdrawn
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6 Babies need to be wooed into engagement babies don’t automatically lock onto caregiver’s eyes, like a heat-seeking missile baby has to be wooed to look in their caregivers eyes or respond to their caregiver’s voice Every baby varies in the amount of energy or modulation required to encourage these early interactions
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7 At-Risk Caregiver caregivers aren’t born knowing how to do this these caregiving skills have been honed over our evolutionary history and passed down from one generation to the next isolated caregiver who hasn’t seen other caregivers tending to their babies, or who has no recourse to a other experienced caregivers to guide her efforts to interact and feed a fussy baby, can find herself overwhelmed, even angry at baby
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8 Primary role of positive affect in baby’s development For baby to find interaction pleasurable, caregiver has to understand baby’s physiology: what brings comfort or interests her, what calms her down or, when she is lethargic, up-regulates her Over-reactive baby needs soothing touch, sounds Under-reactive baby needs more energy ultimate source of implicit knowledge are the hours spent caring for an infant
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9 Biological Variability Every infant is unique in the stimulation she likes, how much, when, and how she shows this Infants with hyper/hypo-sensitivities, or motor, or processing compromises, can find
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lecture5 - Developmental Psychology Professor: S. Shanker...

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