Life-span development chap 5 notes

Essay by upenncheatCollege, Undergraduate September 2002

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I. Reflexes - Born with reflexes and skills necessary to sustain life (sucking, swallowing, Moro/startle reflex, grasping, rooting, Babinsky, stepping, looking, and perceptual abilities like seeing, hearing and smelling)

II. Growth Patterns

* Cephalocaudel pattern - top to bottom

* Proximodistal pattern - center out

* Gross motor skills - large muscle activities (walking)

* Fine motor skills - finely tuned movements (finger dexterity)

* Average North American newborn is 20 inches long and weighs 7.5 pounds. Infants grow about 1 inch per month during the first year and triple their weight

III. The Brain (see additional handout)

IV. Brain's development - 3 processes in the development of neurons

* cell production - 10-26 weeks after conception, 250,000 neurons per minute

* cell migration (proximodistal growth pattern) Neuron movement from neat the center of the brain

* cell elaboration - axon and dendrites grow from connections with other cells, continues years after birth, during infancy dendrite branching is extensive

* myelination - process in which nerve cells are covered and insulated with a layer of fat cells, increasing the speed of information traveling through the nervous system.

Begins prenatal and continues after birth.


Infant States

*deep sleep *regular sleep *drowsy *alert activity *alert and focused attention *inflexibility focused *SIDS



* Infants need to consume about 50 calories for each pound of weight

* Breast feeding superior to bottle feeding (especially important for building up immune system)

* Marasmus - severe protein-calories malnutrition

* Malnourished infants are shorter in stature and slower in cognitive growth in middle and late childhood


Sensory and Perceptional Development

* sensation - physical energy contacts the sensory receptors

* perception - brain interprets what is sensed

* visual perception - infants prefer patterns over colors or brightness, visual acuity 20/200 for newborn...