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144 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
cephalocaudal trend
head-to-tail sequence; motor control of head comes before control of arms and trunk, which comes before control of legs
proximodistal trend
from the center of the body outward; head, trunk, and arm control precedes coordination of hands and fingers
dynamic systems theory of motor development
mastery of motor skills involves acquiring increasingly complex systems of action; when motor skills work as a system, separate abilities blend together, each cooperating with others to produce more effective was of exploring and controlling the environment.
poorly coordinated swipes
our sense of movement and location in space, arising from stimuli within the body
ulnar grasp
clumsy motion in which the baby's fingers close against the palm
pincer grasp
using the thumb and index finger opposably
statistical learning capacity
by analyzing the speech stream for patterns--regularly occurring sequences of sounds--they acquire a stock of speech structures for which they will later learn meanings, long before they start to talk around 12 months
visual acuity
fineness of discrimination
visual cliff
used in earliest studies of depth perception; consists of plexiglass covered table with platform at the center; "shallow side" with checkerboard pattern just under glass, deep side with checkered form several feet below the glass.
contrast sensitivity
explains early pattern preferences; contrast refers to the difference in the amount of light between adjacent regions in a pattern; if babies are sensitive to the contrast in two or more patterns, they prefer the one with more contrast
size constancy
perception of an object's size as stable, despite changes in the size of its retinal image
shape constancy
perception of an object's shape as stable, despite changes in the shape projected within the retina
intermodal stimulation
simultaneous input from more than one modality, or sensory system
intermodal perception
we make sense of these running streams of light, sound, tactile, odor and taste information by perceiving them as integrated wholes
amodal sensory properties
information that is not specific to a single modality but that overlaps two or more sensory systems, such as rate, rhythm, duration, intensity, temporal synchrony (for vision and hearing) and texture and shape (for vision and touch)
differentiation theory
James Gibson; infants actively search for invariant features of the environment, in a constantly changing perceptual world
invariant features
Features that that remain stable
perception is guided by these action possibilities that a situation offers an organism with certain motor capabilities
distance curve
plots the average size of a sample of children at each age, indicating typical yearly progress toward maturity
velocity curve
plots the average amount of growth at each yearly interval, revealing the exact timing of growth spurts
skeletal age
Best estimate of a boy's physical maturity; measure of the development of the bones of the body
special growth centers in the bones; appear just before birth in the extreme ends of each of the body's long bones
pituitary gland
releases most important hormones for human growth; located at the base of the brain by the hypothalamus
structure that initiates and regulates pituitary excretions
Growth Hormone (GH)
the only pituitary secretion produced continuously throughout life, affects development of all tissues except the central nervous system and the genitals
released by the thyroid gland (in the neck) when prompted by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland; necessary for brain development and for GH to have its full impact
female hormones (still present in males in smaller amounts)
male hormones (still present in females in smaller amounts)
secular trends in physical growth
changes in body size and rate of growth from one generation to the next
nerve cells that store and transmit information
tiny gaps where fibers from different neurons come close together but do not touch
now neurons send messages to one another; chemicals that travel across synapses
programmed cell death
makes space for the connective structures; as synapses form, many surrounding neurons die--20-80 percent, depending on the brain region
synaptic pruning
the process by which neurons that are seldom stimulated lose their synapses
glial cells
cause the dramatic increase in brain size during infancy and early childhood; makes up about half the brain's volume; responsible for myelination
the coating of neural fibers with an insulating fatty sheath that improves the efficiency of message transfer
cerebral cortex
surrounds the rest of the brain, resembling half of a shelled walnut; largest brain structure; accounts for 85 percent of the brain's weight; contains the greatest number of neurons and synapses
specialization of the two hemispheres of the brain
brain plasticity
highly plastic cerebral cortex--in which many areas are not yet committed to specific functions--has a high capacity for learning; if a part of the cortex is damaged, other parts can take over the tasks it would have handled
dominant cerebral hemisphere
influences handedness because of its greater capacity to carry out skilled motor action
at the rear base of the brain; structure that ids in the balance and control of body movement
reticular formation
a structure in the brain stem that maintains alertness and consciousness
inner structure of the brain; plays a vital role in memory and images of space that help us find our way
corpus callosum
large bundle of fibers connecting the two cerebral hemispheres
experience-expectant brain growth
refers to the young brain's rapidly developing organization, which depends on ordinary experiences--opportunities to see and touch objects, to hear language and other sounds, and to move about and explore the environment
experience-dependent brain growth
additional growth and refinement of established brain structures as a result of specific learning experiences that occur throughout our lives, varying widely across individuals and cultures
catch-up growth
a return to a genetically influenced growth path once conditions improve
a wasted condition of the body caused by a diet low in all essential nutrients; usually appears in the first year of life when a baby's mother is too malnourished to produce enough breast milk and bottle-feeding is also inadequate
caused by an unbalanced diet very low in protein; disease usually strikes after weaning; between 1 and 3 years of age
a greater-than-20-percent increase over healthy weight, based on body mas index; a ratio of weight to height associated with body fat
Nonorganic failure to thrive
a growth disorder resulting from lack of parental love, is usually present by 18 months of age; infants who have it show all the signs of marasmus--their bodies look wasted, and they are withdrawn and apathetic; no organic (biological) cause can be found for the child's failure to grow
psychological dwarfism
a growth disorder that usually appears between 2 and 15 years of age; typical characteristics include very short stature, decreased GH secretion, immature skeletal age and serious adjustment problems
young people attain an adult-sized body and become capable of producing offspring
primary sexual characteristics
involve the reproductive organs
secondary sexual characteristics
visible on the outside of the body and serve as signs of sexual maturity
scientific name for menstruation; from the Greek word "arche" which means "beginning"
first ejaculation
body image
conception of and attitude toward one's physical appearance
anorexia nervosa
a tragic eating disturbance in which young people starve themselves because of a compulsive fear of getting fat
bulimia nervosa
young people (mainly girls; gay and bisexual boys also vulnerable) engage in strict dieting and excessive exercised accompanied by binge eating, often followed by deliberate vomiting and purging with laxatives
constructivist approach
Piaget's outlook; children discover and construct virtually all knowledge about their world through their activity
specific psychological structures; organized ways of making sense of experience
mental representations
internal depictions of information that the mind can manipulate
building schemes through direct interaction with the environment
we use our current schemes to interpret the external world
we create new schemes or adjust old ones after noticing that our current way of thinking does not capture the environment completely
back and forth movement between equilibrium and disequilibrium
a process that occurs internally, apart from direct contact with the environment; once children form new schemes, they rearrange them, linking them with other schemes to create a strongly interconnected cognitive system
sensorimotor stage
spans the first two years of life; name reflects Piaget's belief that infants and toddlers "think" with their eyes, ears, hands and other sensorimotor equipment; cannot yet carry out many activities mentally
circular reaction
provides a special means of adapting their first schemes' involves stumbling onto a new experience caused by the baby's own motor activity; reaction is "circular" because, as the infant tries to repeat the event again and again, a sensorimotor response that originally occurred by chance becomes strengthened into a new scheme
intentional/goal-directed behavior
coordinating schemes deliberately to solve simple problems
object permanence
the understanding that objects continue to exist when they are out of sight; nont yet complete in babies
A-not-B search error
if the y reach several items for an object at one hiding place (A), then see it moved to another (B), they still search for it in the first hiding place (A)
deferred imitation
ability to remember and copy the behavior of models who are not present
make-believe play
children act out everyday imaginary activities
violation of expectation method
used when researchers are trying to discover what infants know about hidden objects and other aspects of physical reality; habituate babies to a physical event (expose them to an event until their looking declines) to familiarize them with a situation in which their knowledge will be tested; may simply show babies an expected event (one that follows physical laws) and an unexpected event (a variation of the first event that violates physical laws); heightened attention to the unexpected event suggests that the infant is surprised by a deviation in physical reality--and, therefore is aware of that aspect of the physical world
preoperational stage
spans ages 2-7; most obvious change is an extraordinary increase in mental representation
sociodramatic play
make believe with others that is under way around age 2 and increases rapidly during the next few years
dual representation
viewing a symbolic objects as both an object in its own right and a symbol
mental representations of actions that obey logical rules
the failure to distinguish others' symbolic viewpoints from one's own
animistic thinking
the belief that inanimate objects have lifelike qualities, such as thoughts, wishes, feelings and intentions
refers to the idea that certain physical characteristics of objects remain the same even when their outward appearance changes
understanding of children is centered; characterized by this "centration"; they focus on one aspect of a situation, neglecting other important features
the ability to go through a series of steps in a problem and then mentally reverse direction, returning to the starting point
hierarchical classification
the organization of objects into classes and subclasses on the basis of similarities and differences
concrete operational stage
7-11 years; major turning point in cognitive development; thought becomes far more logical, flexible, and organized
ability to order items along a quantitative dimension, such as length or weight
transitive inference
ability to seriate mentally
cognitive maps
mental representations of familiar large-scale spaces, such as their school or neighborhood
formal operational stage
children develop the capacity for abstract, systematic, scientific thinking
hypothetico-deductive reasoning
when faced with a problem, start with a hypothesis or prediction about variables that might affect an outcome, from which they deduce logical, testable inferences; systematically isolate and combine variables to see which of these inferences are confirmed in the real world
propositional thought
adolescent's ability to evaluate the logic of propositions (verbal statements) without referring to real-world circumstances
imaginary audience
adolescents' belief that they are the focus of everyone else's attention and concern
personal fable
because teenagers are sure that others are observing and thinking about them, they develop an inflated opinion of their own importance--a feeling that they are special and unique
logical necessity
of propositional reasoning--that the accuracy of conclusions drawn from premises rests on the rules of logic, not on real-world confirmation
core knowledge perspective
infants begin life with innate, special-purpose knowledge systems referred to as core domains of thought; each of these prewired understandings permits a ready grasp of new, related information and therefore supports early, rapid development of certain aspects of cognition
theory theory
theory of children as theorists; children form naive theories, or explanations of events, that differ between core domains; after observing an event, children draw on innate concepts to explain or theorize about its cause; they test their naive theory against experience, revising it when it cannot adequately account for new information
private speech
children's self-directed speech (previously egocentric speech)
zone of proximal development
range or tasks too difficult for the child to do alone but possible with the help of adults and more skilled peers
the process whereby two participants who begin a task with different understandings arrive at a shared understanding
adjusting the support offered during a teaching session to fit the child's current level of performance
guided participation
a broader concept than scaffolding that refers to shared endeavors between more expert and less expert participants, without specifying the precise features of communication
reciprocal teaching
teacher and two to four students form a collaborative group and take turns leading dialogues on the content of a text passage; within the dialogues, group members apply four cognitive strategies: questioning, summarizing, clarifying and predicting
cooperative learning
in which smaller groups of classmates work toward common goals
store model
part of information processing system; assumes that we hold, or store, information in three parts of the mental system for processing; sensory register, working/short-term memory, long-term memory
mental strategies
used to operate on and transform our mind, increasing the chances that we will retain information, use it efficiently, and think flexibly adapting the information to changing circumstances
sensory register
sights and sounds are represented directly and stored briefly
working/short-term memory
we actively apply mental strategies as we "work" on a limited amount of information
central executive
part of the working memory; directs flow of information; decides what to attend to, coordinates incoming information with information already in the system, and selects, applies and monitors strategies
long-term memory
our permanent knowledge base
memory span
longest sequence of items a person can recall; a measure of working memory capacity
connectionist/artificial neural network models
computers were used to devise this model in an effort to know exactly what happens in the brain as children master new skills; simulate the workings of most basic information processing units: neurons and their connections; reveals how strengthening of simple connections between units leads to new cognitive capacities just as strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons promotes development of brain functioning
neo-Piagetian Theory
from Robbie Case; accepts Piaget's stages but attributes change within each stage, and movement from one stage to the next, to increases in the efficiency with which children use their limited working memory capacity; each stage involves distinct type of cognitive structure; infancy-sensory input and physical actions; early childhood-internal representations of events and actions; middle childhood-simple transformations of representations; adolescence-complex transformations of representations
central conceptual structures
once the schemes of Piagetian stage become sufficiently automatic, enough space in working memory is available to consolidate them into an improved representational form; results in these central conceptual structures, networks of concepts and relations that permit them to think about wide range of situations in more advanced ways
model of strategy choice
By Robert Siegler (2005); effort to apply evolutionary perspective to children's cognition; states that when children are given challenging problems, they devise a variety of strategies; with experience, some strategies are selected, become more frequent and "survive"; others become less frequent and "die off"; children's mental strategies display variation and selection, yielding adaptive problem-solving techniques.
the ability to control external distracting stimuli
production deficiency
preschoolers rarely engage in attentional strategies; in other words, fail to produce strategies when they could be helpful
control deficiency
slightly older children sometimes produce strategies, but not consistently; may fail to control, or execute strategies effectively
utilization deficiency
young elementary school children execute strategies consistently, but performance either does not improve or improves less than that of older children
effective strategy use
by mid-elementary school years, children use strategies consistently and performance improves
involves thinking out a sequence of acts ahead of time and allocating attention accordingly to reach a goal
repeating information to yourself; a memorization strategy
grouping related items (e.g., cities in the same part of the country)
involves creating a relationship, or shared meaning, between two or more pieces of information that do not belong to the same category
noticing that a stimulus is identical or similar to one previously experienced
generating a mental representation of an absent stimulus
constructive processing of information, or recoding it while it is in the system or being retrieved
fuzzy-trace theory
when we first encode information, we construct it automatically, creating a vague, fuzzy version called a gist, which preserves essential meaning without details and is especially useful for reasoning
semantic memory
our vast, taxonomically organized and hierarchically structured general knowledge system; must grow out of the young child's memory
episodic memory
memory for man personally experienced events
general descriptions of what occurs and when it occurs in a particular situation
autobiographical memory
representations of one-time events that are long-lasting because they are imbued with personal meaning
infantile amnesia
the reason that most of us cannot retrieve events that happened before age three
awareness and understanding of various aspects of thought
theory of mind
coherent understanding of people as mental beings, which they revise as they encounter new evidence
cognitive self-regulation
process of continually monitoring progress toward a goal, checking outcomes, and redirecting unsuccessful efforts
emergent literacy
children's active efforts to construct literacy knowledge through informal experiences
phonological awareness
the ability to reflect on and manipulate the sound structure of spoken language
whole-language approach
argued that reading should be taught in a way that parallels natural language learning; from the beginning, children should be exposed to text in its complete form: stories, poems, letters, posters, and lists so that they can appreciate the communicative function of written language
phonics approach
believing that children should first be coached on phonics--the basic rules for translating written symbols into sounds. Only after mastering these skills should they get complex reading material.
order relationships between quantities
that the last word in a counting sequence indicates the quantity of items in a set