Development.12 - Lifespan development studies the processes...

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Lifespan development studies the processes and the patterns of change that occur within an individual over a life’s course. It studies the similarities and differences among people as they develop and change. Prenatal period extends over nine months between conception and birth. It involves the zygote, embryo, and fetus. 1. The zygote stage lasts 2 weeks, the single new cell formed divides many times and the internal organs form. 2. Embryonic stage begins at 2 weeks and ends at eight weeks. Development occurs at a rapid pace. The heart beats, brain and spinal cords functions, and major body structures being to form. It can react reflexively to stimulation. The embryo is sensitive to chemicals that can cause birth defect- substances called teratogens . The embryo develops a pair of gonads that will become either ovaries or testes. The presence or absence of testes determines the development of other sex organs. If present, it will secrete the hormone androgen. The most important androgen is testosterone. 3. Fetal stage lasts for 7 months. It begins with the appearance of bone cells and ends with birth. Infants’ most important movements are reflexes that are automatic movements in response to specific stimuli. (rooting, sucking, swallowing). Maturation refers to any stable change in thought, behavior, or physical growth that is due to the aging process and not to experience. Childrens development follows the same basic maturational pattern. Development of motor skills requires maturation of the child’s nervous system and practice. Critical period refers to the specific time during which certain experiences must occur if an organism is to develop normally. Many behavioral, perceptual, and cognitive abilities are subject to critical periods. Human development consists of continuous interaction between physical maturation and environmental stimulation. Cognitive development in infants is the process by which they get to know things about themselves and their world. It evolutionary and environmental variables. One of the first steps in cognitive development is learning that events in the environment can be dependent on one’s own behavior. The most effective environment is the one which the infant’s behavior has tangible effects. Jean Piaget proposed that as children develop, they acquire cognitive structures, mental representations or rules that are used for understanding and dealing with the world and for thinking and solving problems. Two types of cognitive structure are schemata and concepts. Schemata are mental representations or sets of rules that define a particular category of behavior- how the behavior is executed and under what conditions.
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Concepts - child acquires knowledge of the environment, rules that describe properties of environmental events and their relations to other concepts.
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  • Winter '09
  • Joordens
  • Theory of cognitive development

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