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The Expanding Brain
It takes 21 years for our brain to reach its full size.
The fully developed brain is 4 times larger than when we are born.
The nerves form their dendrites, axons and synapses and myelinate during these developing years.
We believe that creation of the synapses (synaptogenesis) is what gives us our ability to think, reason, and move.
Myelination occurs at different rates inside brain.
The occipital lobe is myelinated by age one.
The frontal lobe isn’t myelinated until the early 20s.
Incredible Brains
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi: Bachelors at age 10 and Masters degree at age 12.
Michael Kearney: graduated from high school at age 6, college with his Associates degree at age 8, Bachelors at age 10 and Masters degree at age 14.
Scans of their brains showed that their frontal lobes were much more highly developed than the typical youth.
Is it in their genes or was it their environment that made them this way?
Cortical Pruning
Although the brain has nearly the entire compliment of 100 billion cells at birth, as synaptogenesis takes place some of the neurons will die.
As if the brain was attempting to maximize its energy, the brain grows where it is stimulated and dies where it is not.
Brain Plasticity
The ability of the brain to change is called “plasticity.”
The occipital lobe should be useless in a blind person.
But, it is active while they “read” Braille.
The left hemisphere contains language capabilities.
If a child loses the left hemisphere, the right takes over.
This does not happen in adults where pruning is completed.
Basic Newborn States
Eating: the basis of living
From newborn reflexes to two-year-old food cautions
Reflexes are innate, instinctive, automatic activities.
Sucking reflex
Rooting reflex
The first instinct for newborns is everything in the mouth.
Around 1.5 toddlers become picky about what they eat.
This two-year-old food caution could be evolutionarily protective.
Basic Newborn States
Breast milk: Best First Food
Protects from diseases
When breast fed:
More alert in first two weeks
Fewer gastrointestinal problems and ear infections
More resistant to day care diseases (colds or flu)
Advanced in developmental tasks as toddlers
Also seem superior in later measures of intelligence in elementary school
These are correlational studies, so the results above could be related to:
Social class - higher - more likely to breast feed
Health - premature babies don’t get the opportunity
Poor health of the mother may deter breast feeding
A Serious Developing World Concern
A serious lack of adequate food
Stunting is defined as being below the fifth percentile in height for your age group
Malnutrition that results in stunting reduces learning, cognition and other life long activities.
A woman with HIV must consider malnutrition vs. infecting the child through her breast milk

The first communication signal
Babies are more fussy during the afternoon
At four months, crying declines; now using crying as a tool for communication
High pitched cries are more arousing; signals distress
The brain of parents is more active than non-parents when infants cry
Colic: continual crying caused by immature digestive system
Mother anxiety and smoking correlate with higher colic rates
Colic ends around month 4

What quiets a young baby?
Some like swaddling - others prefer pacifiers
Research shows that pacifiers are best - early
By 2 months of age, both techniques worked equally
Increasing contact decreases crying
Infant massage is great, when combined with carrying the infant
Massage is especially important in premature infants
The main newborn state
Newborns sleep up to 18 hours per day
A little less than cats
They awake every three to four hours
By six months, they sleep 6 hours at a time
By age one, they are sleeping 12 hours
With additional morning and afternoon naps
By two, they give up the morning nap
By late preschool, they only sleep at night
Infants drop almost directly into REM
Prior to adolescence, children do not have sleep cycles like adults.

Cameras show that babies don’t sleep through the night, even at age two.
Instead, they learn to self-soothe signal (cry) when they awake.
By 8 to 12 months, more than half will self-soothe
Baby girls do a better job of self-soothing than boys.
Even after they begin to self-soothe, there are issues:
Getting the child to go to sleep in the first place
Getting the child to get into bed
Children with chronic sleep problems create irritable parents.
Self-soothing and Co-Sleep
What helps a baby self-soothe?
To respond or not to respond (when your baby cries)
In the first few months - respond
After that, it may be a combination - listen to the cries
Babies that are always picked up have trouble self-soothing
To co-sleep or not co-sleep:
There are still people who counsel against co-sleep
The baby may never learn to self-soothe
But, it is routinely done in lots of cultures in the world
Co-sleep in and of itself does not appear to be harmful
There are some possible problems with co-sleep
Let’s look at the worst - smothering
When Sleep is a Lethal State
Smothering during co-sleep
Never co-sleep if you are under the influence of drugs
Place the baby on their back (Back to Sleep program) and keep them away from fluffy pillows and bedding
SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Occurs more in low birth weight and premature infants
There is a strong correlation between alcohol use during pregnancy and SIDS
Being put to sleep face down increases SIDS
Smoking around infants raises the incidence of SIDS
Giving a pacifier while asleep appears to reduce the incidence of SIDS
Fetuses can discriminate different tones in the womb.
Newborns prefer women’s voices (higher pitched).
By one month of age, they respond to infant-directed speech.
Newborns can discriminate among a variety of odors and develop preferences within the first week of life.
They prefer the odor of breast milk and know the distinctive smell of their own mother’s breast milk.
Newborns are sensitive to basic tastes. They make a face when they taste something bitter, sour, or salty; they suck harder on a sweet solution.

What do newborns see?
They are born with 20/400 vision.
Legally blind in many states
By year one, a normal infant can see like an adult.
Seeing a constant world
Babies appear to understand size constancy without prior experience.
Because we are attracted to novel stimuli, experimenters use the preferential-looking paradigm and habituation to test infants.
Focusing on faces
Babies prefer faces to other stimuli.
They also prefer their mother’s face to a stranger’s.
Attractive (symmetrical) faces are liked more then unattractive faces.
They like faces looking at them.
They imitate adult facial expressions.

Seeing depth and fearing heights
By two months, we have depth perception.
By six months, the fear of heights is developed.

The visual cliff experiment

Growth and Motor Activity
Expanding Body Size
From infancy to adulthood, we expand to 21 times our newborn size.
Rapid growth during infancy, which slows during childhood, and then speeds up again during adolescence
Mastering Motor Milestones
Mass to specific growth
Big, uncoordinated movements first; wobbly walking
Then, we perfect and refine to detailed movements.
Adults walk without thinking.

Infant Mobility
Can some of the milestones be accelerated?
One research project said “yes.”
Infant “sticky mittens” increased 3-month-old grasping capabilities

Children who are ahead of or behind schedule:
Most of these small differences disappear rapidly.
The rate at which babies master motor milestones has no relation to the future intelligence of the baby.
Once mobility begins in the form of crawling or walking, the parent child-relationship changes.
Parents see their child as more independent.
They see a person with a mind of his or her own.
They begin to discipline.
The child checks up on the parent while moving about.
Children develop size constancy, fear heights, and show more mature relationship behaviors.
Making home safe for newly mobile infant
Anticipate the problems
Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage (birth to age 2)
Sensory input and manipulation of objects
Infants are creating schemas and accommodating new information into them through assimilation & accommodation.
In the first year of life, one of the main schemas is “everything into the mouth”
Circular Reactions
Circular reactions are habits that the child repeats
Circular reactions come in three types:
Primary, secondary and tertiary reactions

Tracking Thinking
How does thinking emerge? Do babies suddenly have an understanding of physics? According to Piaget, two signs of the ability to think are:
deferred imitation (keep image in mind and translate it into action of your own)
make-believe play (realization that something signifies or stands for something else)
Means-end behavior is doing a completely different activity to get to a specific goal. It develops around age one.
Object Permanence: believing objects continue to exist even when they can no longer be seen

Children are not born with the idea that unseen objects still exist. This is a learned concept.
As this concept develops - around one year of age - new games can be played, like peek-a-boo & hide and seek.
Piaget believed that object permanence did not stabilize until close to age two.

Critiques of Piaget
Today, we have methods of testing children that Piaget did not use.
We measure heart rate, habituation and preferential looking.
We believe that infants grasp the basics of physical reality at a younger age than Piaget believed.
The understanding of physical reality emerges gradually, not as Piaget believed (in unitary, qualitatively different stages).
Information Processing theorists
Consider development from a computer model, describing a more gradual, linear approach to development
The word infant derives from the Latin word in-fans, meaning unable to speak.
It is not the acquisition of language skills that ends infancy, but the ability to speak.
Children are able to communicate through sign language before they can speak.
Nature, Nurture, and Language
Noam Chomsky hypothesized that humans have a language acquisition device (LAD) – we are biologically programmed to construct “language.”
In reaction to Skinner’s behaviorist approach
Social-interactionist view emphasizes social function, that both infants & adults have a “passion to communicate.”

Exploring Evolving Speech
It isn’t simply a biological device that creates speech.
We learn the language we hear.
So, there is some nurture involved:
Social interactionists look to the social forces that help speech emerge.
Lev Vygotsky’s scaffolding theories help to explain evolving speech.
Babies make the sounds of almost every language on earth as they begin to vocalize.
Those that they hear around them begin to dominate, while others disappear from their repertoire of sounds.
Tracing Emerging Speech
The stages of evolving speech
Babbling stage: repetitive sounds like “da-da”
By eleven months, the first words emerge.
Holophrases: single words to communicate a complete thought
The rules of grammar are starting to develop in this stage.
Experiments show that children understand more than they can vocalize.
Telegraphic speech: short combinations of words without all the grammatical essentials
However, telegraphic speech does display an understanding of the rules of grammar.“Me want”is different than“Want me.”

Tracing Emerging Speech
Infant directed speech (IDS)
Also called “motherese”
This is the way adults speak to children everywhere:
Includes higher pitch than normal speech, elongated vowels, and exaggerated tones.
It appears that infants do learn from this exaggerated speech.