lecture4 - Developmental Psychology Professor: S. Shanker...

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Developmental Psychology Professor : S. Shanker TA: J. Burman L
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2 The Descent from the Trees
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3 Bonobos Discovered in the early 1970s Closest human ancestor: approx 99% of our DNA Partially bi-pedal Live in small groups, social harmony, strong matriarchal presence Thought to provide us with the best model we have of our early human ancestors, the Australopithecines
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5 Secondary Altriciality Portman came up with term in 1940s Gould made it famous in ‘Human Babies as Embryos’ Altrical : large litters of undeveloped helpless offspring Precocial: few, well-developed offspring capable of taking care of themselves at birth in some ways humans are precocial, but infant is born 9 months prematurely and is helpless at birth For this reason Portmann called babies secondarily altricial
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6 Benefits of Secondary Altriciality Post-natal plasticity enables child’s brain to become attuned to environment in which she is born Synaptic growth in the first 2 years is massive There is huge over-production of synapses that, at 8 months, will start to be ‘pruned’ back Synaptic pruning is regulated by baby’s dyadic interactions with her caregivers Primary modalities are shared gaze and touch
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This note was uploaded on 08/04/2009 for the course PSYC 2110 taught by Professor Shanker during the Spring '09 term at York University.

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lecture4 - Developmental Psychology Professor: S. Shanker...

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