7 - physical and cognitive development in early childhood

7 - physical and cognitive development in early childhood -...

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Unformatted text preview: Physical Development 04:54 Body Growth Body growth tapers off from the rapid rate of the first two years o Children add 2 to 3 inches and about 5 pounds each year o Boys continue to be slightly larger than girls o Children gradually become thinner by dropping off baby fat o Posture and balance improve Individual differences in body size are more apparent Skeletal changes continue o Epiphyses: Growth centers in which cartilage hardens into bone o Skeletal age: Progress toward physical maturity Start to lose baby teeth Diseased baby teeth can affect the health of permanent teeth Brain Development Brain increases from 70% of its adult weight to 90% Changes in the Cerebral Cortex o Especially rapid growth from 3 to 6 years in frontal-lobe areas devoted to planning and organizing behavior The left cerebral hemisphere is especially active o Marked gains on tasks that depend on the frontal cortex Language skills increase Continuation of lateralization Handedness o Joint contribution of nature and nurture to brain lateralization o Children display a hand preference that gradually extends to a wider range of skills Dominant cerebral hemisphere: The greater capacity of one side of the brain Reflects dominant cerebral hemisphere to carry out skilled motor action Important abilities are generally located on the dominant side o Most children inherit a gene that biases them from right-handedness and a left-dominant cerebral hemisphere, but it is not strong enough to overcome experiences that might sway children toward a left-had preference o Handedness involves practice o Most left-handers have no developmental problems Other Advances in Brain Development o Cerebellum: A structure that aids in balance and control of body movement Contributes to dramatic gains in motor coordination Corpus collosum: Large bundle of fibers connecting the two cortical hemispheres o Supports smooth coordination of movements on both sides of the body and integration of many aspects of thinking Influences on Physical Growth and Health Heredity and Hormones o Childrens physical size and rate of growth are related to those of their parents Pituitary gland: Located at the base of the brain, plays a critical role by releasing two hormones that induce growth o Growth hormone (GH): From birth on is necessary for development of all body tissues except the central nervous system and genitals o Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): Prompts the thyroid gland to release thyroxin Necessary for brain development and for GH to have its full impact on body size...
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2010 for the course EDHD 320 taught by Professor Parkinson during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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7 - physical and cognitive development in early childhood -...

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