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33 Cards in this Set

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An average, or standard, measurement, calculated from the measurements of many individuals within a specific group or population.
norm
A biological mechanism that protects the brain when malnutrition disrupts body growth. The brain is the last part of the body to be damaged by malnutrition.
head-sparing
One of billions of nerve cells in the central nervous system, especially in the brain.
neuron
The outer layers of the brain in humans and other mammals. Most thinking, feeling, and sensing involve this apparatus.
cortex (sometimes called the neocortex.)
A fiber that extends from a neuron and transmits electrochemical impulses from that neuron to the dendrites of other neurons.
axon
A fiber that extends from a neuron and receives electrochemical impulses transmitted from other neurons via their axons.
dendrite
The intersection between the axon of one neuron and the dendrites of other neurons.
synapse
A brain chemical that carries information from the axon of a sending neuron to the dendrites of a receiving neuron.
neurotransmitter
The area of the cortex at the front of the brain that specializes in anticipation, planning, and impulse control.
prefrontal cortex
A life-threatening injury that occurs when an infant is forcefully shaken back and forth, a motion that ruptures blood vessels in the brain and breaks neural connections.
shaken baby syndrome
A stage of sleep characterized by flickering eyes behind closed lids, dreaming, and rapid brain waves.
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep
An unlearned, involuntary action or movement emitted in response to a particular stimulus. This is an automatic response that is built into the nervous system and occurs without conscious thought.
reflex
Physical abilities involving large body movements, such as walking and jumping.
gross motor skills (The word gross here means "big.")
Physical abilities involving small body movements, especially of the hands and fingers, such as drawing and picking up coins.
fine motor skills (The word fine here means "small.")
The response of a sensory system when it detects a stimulus.
sensation (eyes, ears, skin, tongue, and nose)
The mental processing of sensory information when the brain interprets a sensation.
perception
The ability to focus the two eyes in a coordinated manner in order to see one image.
binocular vision
A process that stimulates the body's immune system to defend against attack by particular contagious disease. This may be accomplished either naturally (by having the disease) or through vaccination (often by having an injection).
immunization (also called inoculation or vaccination.)
A situation in which a seemingly healthy infant, at least 2 months of age, suddenly stops breathing and dies unexpectedly while asleep.
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
A custom in which parents and their children (usually infants) sleep together in the same bed.
co-sleeping (also called bed-sharing.)
Piaget's term for the way infants think--by using their senses and motor skills--during the first period of cognitive development.
sensorimotor intelligence
Piaget's term for a type of adaptation in which new experiences are interpreted to fit into, or assimilate with, old ideas.
assimilation
Piaget's term for the type of adaptation in which old ideas are restructured to include, or accommodate, new experiences.
accommodation
The realization that objects (including people) still exist when they can no longer be seen, touched, or heard.
object permanence
The stage-five toddler (age 12 to 18 months) who experiments without anticipating the results, using trial and error in active and creative exploration.
"little scientist"
A perspective that compares human thinking processes, by analogy, to computer analysis of data, including sensory input, connections, stored memories, and output.
information-processing theory
An experimental apparatus that gives an illusion of a sudden dropoff between one horizontal surface and another.
visual cliff
A perceptual experience that is intended to help a person recollect an idea, a thing, or an experience, without testing whether the person remembers it at the moment.
reminder session
The high-pitched, simplified, and repetitive way adults speak to infants.
child-directed speech (also called baby talk or motherese.)
The extended repetition of certain syllables, such as ba-ba-ba, that begins when babies are between 6 and 9 months old.
babbling
A sudden increase in an infant's vocabulary, especially in the number of nouns, that begins at about 18 months of age.
naming explosion
A single word that is used to express a complete, meaningful thought.
holophrase
Chomsky's term for a hypothesized mental structure that enables humans to learn language, including the basic aspects of grammar, vocabulary, and intonation.
language acquisition device (LAD)