infant physical development

infant physical development - Physical Growth The Rapid...

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9/16/11 1 Physical Development in Infancy Physical Growth: The Rapid Advances of Infancy Infants grow at a rapid pace over the first 2 years of their lives. By the age of 5 months, the average infant ʼ s birthweight has doubled to around 15 pounds. By the first birthday, the baby ʼ s weight has tripled to about 22 pounds. The weight gains of infancy are matched by increased length. By the end of the 1st year, the typical baby grows almost a foot and is about 30 inches tall. Four Principles of Growth Cephalocaudal principle The principle that growth follows a pattern that begins with the head and upper body parts and then proceeds down to the rest of the body The cephalocaudal growth principle means that we develop visual abilities (located in the head) well before we master the ability to walk. Proximodistal principle The principle that development proceeds from the center of the body outward Principle of hierarchical integration The principle that simple skills typically develop separately and independently but are later integrated into more complex skills Principle of the independence of systems The principle that different body systems grow at different rates
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9/16/11 2 The Nervous System and Brain: The FoundaAons of Development Neuron The basic nerve cell of the nervous system Neurons can communicate with other cells, using a cluster of fibers called dendrites at one end. Dendrites receive messages from other cells. At their opposite end, neurons have a long extension called an axon , the part of the neuron that carries messages destined for other neurons. Synapse The gap at the connection between neurons, through which neurons chemically communicate with one another Figure 5-­૒4 The Neuron
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9/16/11 3 The neurons also reposition themselves as they grow, becoming arranged by function. Some move into the cerebral cortex , the upper layer of the brain, while others move to subcortical levels , which are below the cerebral cortex. The subcortical levels, which regulate such fundamental activities as breathing and heart rate, are the most fully developed at birth.
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