Chapter 3 notes - Physical and Neurological Development...

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8/27/2009 1 Physical and Neurological Development From infant to ~5 years Physical Growth Cephalocaudal principle Infant born with very large head wrt body Head is near full-size at birth Most neurons already exist at birth Change occurs wrt connections Physical Growth Infant growth Grow about an inch per month in 1 st year Triple birth weight in 1 st year ~7lbs to ~22lbs Ages 2-6 Shed baby fat By age 6, body much slimmer
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8/27/2009 2 Mechanisms of Physical Growth Heredity/Genes Strong role for height r = 0.9 for height in identical twins r = 0.5 for height in fraternal twins r = 0.7 between child’s height and average of parent’s height Mechanisms of Physical Growth Hormones Pituitary gland secretes Human Growth Hormone (HGH) HGH causes liver to release somatomedin Triggers muscle and bone growth Thyroid gland secretes thyroxine Neuronal development Anything that impairs thyroid function in early years has significant effect on IQ Increases metabolic rate Role in obesity Stimulates endocrine system generally Stimulates pituitary gland and thus release of HGH Mechanisms of Physical Growth Nutrition Need plenty 12lb 3 month old needs ~600 calories per day ~50 calories per lb compared to ~15 calories per lb for adult Breast-feeding Mother’s milk is best food for babies Sufficient nutrients All natural = fewer contaminants than commercial products Breast fed babies: Get sick less often Fewer digestive problems (diarrhea, constipation) Adjust to solid foods more easily
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8/27/2009 3 Brain growth and development Basic Neuronal function Receive a signal from one neuron and transmit it to another neuron Excitatory and Inhibitory connections Activates some cells, turns others off Complex patterns of neuronal firing subserve all behaviors Patterns must develop Learning shapes these patterns Strengthens some connections Eliminates others The neuron Terminal buttons Neuronal communication
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8/27/2009 4 Brain growth in infancy Born with nearly all neurons you will ever have = ~100 billion neurons Development = forming connections Activity dependent learning/experience First few months Axons and dendrites grow longer # of synapses increase 2 nd year Synaptic pruning Some synapses disappear Fine tuning brain function Weeding out unnecessary connections Learning and brain development Kittens blindfolded at birth (first 2 weeks) Connections in visual cortex do not form Never see properly Kittens w/one eye blindfolded at birth Connections for binocular vision do not form Reduced depth perception Kittens exposed only to vertical stripes in first few weeks Connections for perceiving horizontal stripes do not form Specialized cells in V1 for seeing lines at specific orientation
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2011 for the course DEP 2004 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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Chapter 3 notes - Physical and Neurological Development...

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