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INFANCY

BIRTH – 2 YEARS
SENSATION AND PERCEPTION LEARNING IN INFANCY
MOTOR DEVELOPMENT EARLY PRECURSORS TO LANGUAGE
INFANT DEVELOPMENT
• PHYSICAL GROWTH • COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
• MOTOR SKILLS • UNDERSTANDING AND
REPRESENTING
• SOCIOEMOTIONAL OBJECTS/PEOPLE IN THE
DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT
• EMOTIONS • SENSATION AND PERCEPTION
• ATTACHMENT • THINKING, MEMORY,
• TEMPERAMENT/PERSONALITY ATTENTION
• LANGUAGE
THERE’S A LOT THAT HAPPENS IN INFANCY.

• INFLUENCES ON • REFLEXES
DEVELOPMENT • CRYING AS COMMUNICATION
• GENES
• MOTOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
• ENVIRONMENT
• SENSATION AND PERCEPTION
• SLEEP
CHANGES
GENE-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION

Differences in genetic
make-up means that
people will differ in
how susceptible they
are to the environment.
DETERMINANTS OF INFANT DEVELOPMENT
GENES & ENVIRONMENT
1. PASSIVE CORRELATION – PARENTS PASS ON GENES AND PROVIDE THE
ENVIRONMENT
1. E.G., MUSICALLY INCLINED PEOPLE
2. EVOCATIVE CORRELATION – CHILDREN “EVOKE” RESPONSES FROM OTHERS,
INFLUENCED BY HEREDITY
1. E.G., HAPPY, OUTGOING CHILD
3. ACTIVE CORRELATION – PEOPLE SEEK ENVIRONMENTS THAT FIT WITH
GENETIC TENDENCIES (“NICHE PICKING”)
1. E.G., CHILDREN SEEK OUT ENVIRONMENTS THEY PREFER
EVOCATIVE GENE-ENVIRONMENT CORRELATION
• NURSES (UNINTENTIONALLY) HAVE A MARKED PREFERENCE FOR
”ATTRACTIVE” NEWBORNS
• BOY BABIES OF NORMAL HEALTH, BULKY AND MUSCULAR
• GIRL BABIES WHO WERE SMALLER

• NURSES SPEND MORE TIME WITH BABIES THEY DEEM MORE


ATTRACTIVE. THIS AT LEAST PARTIALLY INFLUENCES THE RATE OF
WEIGHT GAIN AFTER BIRTH AND THE AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT IN
THE HOSPITAL POST-BIRTH

Badr & Abdallah, 2001;


Corter et al., 1978;
Crowder & Hunter, 2004
GENE-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS

• BIANCA’S PARENTS PLAYED COLLEGE SPORTS. HER MOM WAS A


SWIMMER AND HER DAD PLAYED BASEBALL. BY THE TIME BIANCA WAS IN
COLLEGE, SHE WAS ALSO PLAYING COLLEGE SPORTS. HOW MIGHT THE
GENE-ENVIRONMENT CORRELATIONS EXPLAIN BIANCA’S TALENT?
• PASSIVE
• EVOCATIVE
• ACTIVE
THE EPIGENETIC
FRAMEWORK
BIDIRECTIONAL
EXCHANGES BETWEEN
HEREDITY AND THE
ENVIRONMENT
COMBINED INFLUENCE
OF MATERNAL
PRENATAL SMOKING
AND GENOTYPE ON
IMPULSIVITY AND
OVERACTIVITY AT AGE 5
ASPECTS OF INFANT DEVELOPMENT
SLEEP
REFLEXES
CRYING
SLEEP INFLUENCES
DEVELOPMENT
INFANT STATES OF AROUSAL
STATE HOURS PER DAY

REGULAR SLEEP 8–9 HOURS

IRREGULAR SLEEP 8–9 HOURS

DROWSINESS VARIES

QUIET ALERTNESS 2–3 HOURS


WAKING ACTIVITY AND
1–4 HOURS
CRYING
REFLEXES

• INBORN, AUTOMATIC RESPONSE TO A PARTICULAR FORM OF STIMULATION


• SURVIVAL VALUE
• DEVELOP MOTOR SKILLS
• MOST DISAPPEAR WITHIN THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF LIFE
INFANT REFLEXES
NEWBORN REFLEXES

• EYE BLINK (REMAINS) • GRASPING (5-6 MO)


• ROOTING (3 WEEKS) • TONIC NECK (5-7 MO)
• SUCKING (REMAINS) • STEPPING (2 MO)
• SWIMMING (4-6 MO) • BABINSKI (8-12 MO)**
• MORO (6 MO)
If reflexes remain beyond first 6 months, MAY indicate developmental delays.
CRYING…

…is
communication!!
INFANT CRYING PATTERNS
• CRYING IS COMPLEX STIMULUS THAT
VARIES IN INTENSITY
• CREATES STRONG RESPONSE IN ADULTS
• INTERPRETATION
• ADULTS USE INTENSITY AND CONTEXT
• ACCURACY IMPROVES WITH EXPERIENCE

• COLIC – PERSISTENT CRYING,


UNKNOWN CAUSE
• TYPICALLY SUBSIDES BY 6 MONTHS
HOW DO INFANTS LEARN ABOUT THEIR
WORLD?
CONDITIONING: CLASSICAL AND OPERANT
NOVELTY AND HABITUATION
IMITATION
CLASSICAL CONDITIONING

Unconditioned Unconditioned
Stimulus Response
(Rocking) (Sleeping)

Neutral Stimulus Conditioned


Conditioned
(music) Response
Stimulus
(music) (Sleeping)
CLASSICAL CONDITIONING

• INVOLVES A REFLEX
• E.G., SUCKING – WHEN SOMETHING IS PUT INTO A BABY’S MOUTH, THEY IMMEDIATELY BEGIN
SUCKING ON IT. SO, WHEN A BOTTLE OR A NIPPLE IS INSERTED, THEY GET FOOD.
• EVENTUALLY, THEY BEGIN SUCKING UPON SEEING THE FOOD SOURCE.
OPERANT CONDITIONING TERMS

REINFORCER PUNISHMENT
• INCREASES PROBABILITY OF BEHAVIOR • REDUCES PROBABILITY OF BEHAVIOR
OCCURRING AGAIN OCCURRING AGAIN
• PRESENTATION/ADDITION OF DESIRABLE • PRESENTATION/ADDITION OF UNPLEASANT
STIMULUS (POSITIVE) STIMULUS (POSITIVE)
• REMOVING UNPLEASANT STIMULUS • REMOVING DESIRABLE STIMULUS
(NEGATIVE) (NEGATIVE)
OPERANT CONDITIONING

• POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT  PRAISING BABY FOR COOING OR SMILING


• NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT  BABY CAN’T PLAY UNTIL THEY FINISH EATING
• ANY OTHER IDEAS OF REINFORCEMENT?
• POSITIVE PUNISHMENT  PAINTING FINGERNAIL ON THUMB WITH SOMETHING THAT TASTES
BAD
• NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT  BABY THROWS SPOON ON FLOOR REPEATEDLY SO MOM TAKES IT
AWAY
• CAREFUL: FREQUENT PUNISHMENT CAN AFFECT PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP
OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING

• OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING IS PRESENT EARLY IN LIFE.


• DEFINITELY PRESENT BY 6 MONTHS
• BY 18 MONTHS, INFANTS CAN IMITATE INTENDED ACTIONS – NOT JUST OBSERVED ONES.
• DEFERRED IMITATION – REMEMBERING AND IMITATING AN OBSERVED ACTION LATER
OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING

• NEWBORNS CAN IMITATE


• HARDER TO INDUCE IN OLDER BABIES, BUT THEIR CAPACITY TO
IMITATE IMPROVES WITH AGE

• MIRROR NEURONS – FIRE IDENTICALLY WHEN WE HEAR OR SEE AN


ACTION VS. CARRY OUT THE SAME ACTION
NOVELTY IS REINFORCING FOR BABIES

• E.G., BABIES WILL SUCK A PACIFIER MORE (A


SIGN OF PLEASURE) IF REINFORCED WITH
NOVEL SIGHTS & SOUNDS
HABITUATION
• INFANTS RESPOND MORE TO NOVELTY
• THEN, THEY HABITUATE AND SHOW REDUCED INTEREST
• REDUCED HEARTRATE, RESPIRATION; LOOKING DECLINES

• NEW STIMULUS CAUSES RESPONSE TO RETURN


• INFANTS WHO HABITUATE MORE RAPIDLY, HAVE SHORT
LOOKING TIME, AND HAVE A GREATER PREFERENCE
FOR NOVELTY TEND TO HAVE HIGHER IQS LATER
HABITUATION AND VISUAL EXPECTANCY

• VISUAL EXPECTANCY – INFANT’S ABILITY TO FORM EXPECTANCIES FOR THE FUTURE BASED ON
PAST EXPERIENCE
• DIFFERENTIATION – ABILITY TO NOTICE ELEMENTS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
• AFFORDANCES – POSSIBILITIES FOR ACTIONS OFFERED BY OBJECTS AND SITUATIONS
• INFANTS LEARN THESE REGULARITIES AND NOTICE DIFFERENCES.
EVIDENCE THAT INFANTS
RECOGNIZE DIFFERENT
STIMULI OR FIND SOME
STIMULI MORE
SURPRISING THAN
OTHERS
MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
MOTOR SKILLS ARE DYNAMIC SYSTEMS

• INCREASING COMPLEXITY IN THE SYSTEMS OF ACTION – ABILITIES BLEND TOGETHER;


COOPERATIVE TO PRODUCE MORE EFFECTIVE EXPLORATION
• FACTORS IN EACH NEW SKILL
• CNS DEVELOPMENT
• BODY’S MOVEMENT CAPACITY
• CHILD’S GOALS
• ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORTS
BASIC SEQUENCE OF MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
• 3.2 MONTHS – ROLLING OVER
• GROSS MOTOR SKILLS – HELP BABIES “GET • 3.3 MONTHS – GRASPING RATTLE
AROUND”; ROLLING, CRAWLING, WALKING
• 5.9 MONTHS – SITTING WITHOUT SUPPORT
• FINE MOTOR SKILLS – SMALLER
• 7.2 MONTHS – STANDING WHILE HOLDING ON
MOVEMENTS; REACHING, GRASPING
• 8.2 MONTHS – PINCER GRASP
• SKILLS ARE INTERRELATED AND DYNAMIC
• 11.5 MONTHS – STANDING ALONE WELL
• DIFFERENCES IN THE RATE OF SKILL
ACQUISITION NORMAL • 12.3 MONTHS – WALKING WELL
• 16.6 MONTHS – WALKING UP STEPS
• 23.8 MONTHS – JUMPING IN PLACE
STEPS IN REACHING AND GRASPING

• PRE-REACHING
• REACHING
• ULNAR/PALMAR GRASP  MOVE THINGS
HAND TO HAND
• PINCER GRASP
ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES
ON MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
• EXPECTATIONS ABOUT MOTOR
DEVELOPMENT
• FORMAL AND INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTAL
OPPORTUNITIES
PERCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT
WHAT ARE WE ABLE TO PERCEIVE AT BIRTH?
HOW DOES THIS CHANGE OVER THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE?
TOUCH

• FUNDAMENTAL MEANS OF INTERACTION WITH NEWBORN


• TOUCH STIMULATES GROWTH, BONDING, POSITIVE RESPONSIVENESS
• “KANGAROO CARE”

• SENSITIVE TO PAIN, EVEN AT BIRTH


• BABIES USE TONGUE/MOUTH TO EXPLORE
TASTE

• PREFER SWEET TASTES AT BIRTH


• QUICKLY LEARN TO LIKE NEW
TASTES IF WE ARE EXPOSED
SMELL

• ODOR PREFERENCES FROM BIRTH


(AFFECTED BY MOTHER’S DIET DURING
PREGNANCY)
• CAN LOCATE ODORS (IDENTIFY
MOTHER BY SMELL)
HEARING
• CAN HEAR A WIDE VARIETY OF SOUNDS AT BIRTH
• PREFERENCE FOR SOUNDS HEARD IN THE WOMB
• IMPROVES A TINY BIT OVER THE FIRST YEAR

• LEARN SOUND PATTERNS WITHIN DAYS


• PREFER COMPLEX SOUNDS (I.E., VOICES) TO PURE TONES
• SENSITIVE TO VOICES AND BIOLOGICALLY PREPARED TO LEARN
LANGUAGE
• MOST NEWBORNS HAVE A HEARING SCREENING BEFORE LEAVING
THE HOSPITAL
SPEECH PERCEPTION

• PREFERENCES
• SLOW, CLEAR, HIGH PITCHED
• OWN MOTHER’S VOICE

• NEWBORNS CAN DETECT SOUNDS OF ANY HUMAN LANGUAGE


• E.G., ”TH” SOUND IN ENGLISH  THIS VS. THICK, THIGH VS. THY
• BY 5 MONTHS, BABIES BECOME MORE SENSITIVE TO PATTERNS IN OWN LANGUAGE
• BY 8 MONTHS, START TO SCREEN OUT SOUNDS NOT USED IN NATIVE LANGUAGE

• MULTISENSORY COMMUNICATION BEGINS PROCESS OF WORD ASSOCIATION


CHANGES IN HEARING OVER FIRST YEAR
Birth • Turns eyes and head towards sound
• Distinguishes sound patterns
• Can discriminate between almost all speech sounds
1-6 months • Prefers human speech
• Becomes sensitive to syllable stress patters in native
language
7-12 months • Screens out sounds not in use for native language
• Detects speech units crucial to understanding
meaning; familiar words and regularities in
sounds/words
INFANT SPEECH SOUND DISCRIMINATION
SPEECH PERCEPTION AND HABITUATION
VISION

• LEAST DEVELOPED SENSE AT BIRTH


• VISUAL ACUITY LIMITED AT BIRTH, IMPROVES INTO EARLY CHILDHOOD
• 2 MONTHS  FOCUS AND COLOR VISION
• 6 MONTHS  ACUITY, SCANNING, TRACKING
• 6-7 MONTHS  DEPTH PERCEPTION
• 4 YEARS  REACHES 20/20
EARLY FACE PERCEPTION
• NEWBORNS SHOW A PREFERENCE FOR FACES AND
PATTERNS THAT RESEMBLE RIGHT-SIDE UP FACES
• PREFER FACES TO ALL OTHER STIMULI
• PREFER ATTRACTIVE (SYMMETRICAL) FACES
• AT 3 MONTHS, BEGIN TO DISTINGUISH FACES AND
RECOGNIZE FAMILIAR ONES
• AT 5 MONTHS, PERCEIVE DIFFERENCES IN EMOTIONAL
EXPRESSIONS
VISUAL PERCEPTUAL
NARROWING
PERCEPTUAL SENSITIVITY THAT BECOMES
INCREASINGLY ATTUNED TO INFORMATION MOST
ENCOUNTERED IN THE ENVIRONMENT
DEPTH PERCEPTION

• DEPTH PERCEPTION
DEVELOPS AROUND 5
MONTHS (3-7 MO)
• (INFANTS DON’T SEE IN 3-D
UNTIL 5 MONTHS)
DEPTH PERCEPTION

3 weeks • Poor contrast sensitivity


• Prefer large, simple patterns
2 months • Can detect detail in complex patterns
• Scans internal features of patterns
4 months • Can detect patterns even if boundaries are not really
present
12 months • Can detect objects even if two-thirds of drawing is
missing
VISUAL PATTERNS

• EARLY ON, BABIES FOCUS ON ONE PART OF A PATTERN


• AT ABOUT 2-3 MO  BEGIN TO EXPLORE INNER FEATURES
• ABOUT 4 MO  INTEGRATE PARTS OF IMAGE INTO UNIFIED WHOLE (AND CAN SEE
SUBJECTIVE BOUNDARY LINES)
• ABOUT 9 MO  MOVING STIMULI (TRACKING)
• ABOUT 12 MO  FAMILIAR OBJECTS IN INCOMPLETE DRAWINGS
VISUAL BOUNDARIES
AND INCOMPLETE
DRAWINGS
VISUAL SCANNING
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN ABNORMAL SETTING?
EARLY DEPRIVATION
• OCCASIONAL INATTENTION  EXPRESSES DISTRESS
• PARENTS ARE MOSTLY RESPONSIVE, BUT SOMETIMES DON’T
• THIS IS GOOD  CHILD LEARNS TO SELF-SOOTHE
• CHRONIC UNDER-STIMULATION
• REGULAR LACK OF INTERACTION WITH PARENTS OR OTHER ADULTS
• CAN BE OVERCOME, IF THEY ARE GIVEN QUALITY INTERACTION (E.G., TEACHER)
• SEVERE NEGLECT IN A FAMILY CONTEXT
• PROLONGED INATTENTION, NOT ENOUGH FOOD, NOT BEING CLEANED…ETC.
• AT RISK FOR SUBSTANTIAL DEFICITS; DIFFICULT TO FIX/UNDO EFFECTS
• SEVERE NEGLECT IN AN INSTITUTIONAL SETTING
• WAREHOUSE-LIKE ORPHANAGES; MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTIONS; ETC.
• ALTERS BRAIN ARCHITECTURE
EARLY DEPRIVATION
EARLY DEPRIVATION

• INFANTS WHO EXPERIENCED EARLY DEPRIVATION AND NEGLECT


• BELOW AVERAGE IN PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
• EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS
• EARLY, PROLONGED INSTITUTIONALIZATION APPEARS TO LEAD TO LASTING COGNITIVE DEFICITS

• OVERWHELMING INFANTS WITH UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ALSO UNDERMINES


DEVELOPMENT
RELATIONSHIP OF AGE
OF ADOPTION TO
MENTAL TEST SCORES
AT AGES 6 & 11
AMONG BRITISH &
ROMANIAN ADOPTEES
IS INFANCY A SENSITIVE PERIOD?

• ETHICALLY, CAN ONLY USE NATURAL OBSERVATIONS.


• JOHN BOWLBY & RENE SPITZ (1940-50S)
• STUDIES IN FOUNDLING HOMES AND HOSPITALS