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CSUSB / Human Development / HD 240 / How we study genes and behavior?

How we study genes and behavior?

How we study genes and behavior?


School: California State University - San Bernardino
Department: Human Development
Course: Intro. to Child Development
Professor: Amy van schagen
Term: Fall 2018
Tags: HD240, child development, Genetics, behavior, nature, nurture, molecular genes, behavioral genes, behavioralgenomics, Chromosomes, mendelianinheritance, genotype, phenotype, dominant, recessive, polygenic inheritance, pleiotropiceffect, sicklecellanemia, epigenetics, deficit, difference, stress, individualism, collectivism, coping, fooddeserts, Trauma, Abuse, neglect, racial stereotype, Prejudice, discrimination, resilience, Prenatal, corpuscallosum, synaptogenesis, cephalocaudal, proximodistal, CerebralPalsy, autism, gross motor, finemotor, VisualAcuity, perception, sensation, mirrorneurons, cross-modal, cognition, cognitive development, piaget's theory, vygotsky, sensorimotor, preoperational, concreteoperational, formaloperational, ZoneOfProximalDevelopment, scaffolding, and infantile amnesia
Cost: 50
Name: HD 240 Ch. 4-8, 15 Study Guide
Description: This study guide is aimed to help better prepare one for Chapters 4-8 and 15.
Uploaded: 10/28/2018
10 Pages 122 Views 2 Unlocks

Study Guide Chapters 4-8, 15

How we study genes and behavior?

Ch. 4 - Genetics, Cultures, and Behavior

Nature through Nurture

- Genetics and environmental influences are entangled How we study genes and behavior

molecular genetics identification of particular genes to discover how genes work within cells

behavioral genetics determining degree of genetic basis for behavior, trait, or ability through studies of twins and adopted behavioral genomics research that links how much of people's behavior is determined by the genetic information they inherited from their parents and how much is caused by their living conditions, learning choices, and other influences from the world around them 

How the environment shapes gene expression?

The Human Genome Project

- mapped all genes that make up the human body

- genes determine everything about genetic inheritance Our Genetic Beginnings

- egg and sperm unite to form zygote

- 23 chromosomes from each one pair up to form 23 pairs of chromosomes

- 22 are autosomes

- 23rd determines sex

- XX (female)

- XY (male)

- father’s sperm determines the sex of the child

Chromosomes, Genes, DNA, and BASES (GATC)

- chromosomes are made up of Genes which are made up of DNA which is made up of Bases

- 4 nitrogen bases: Guanine, Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine - the order of bases determines which protein is produced Mendelian Inheritance: Dominant and Recessive

What are the three stages of prenatal development?

We also discuss several other topics like What is a written language for the minoans, composed of symbols?

- most genes paired w/ gene on the matching chromosome genotype contains all genes in your body

phenotype (appearance) determines by particular genes dominant genes expressed in your phenotype

recessive genes only expressed if they are paired with another recessive gene

One Gene: One Outcome

- the field vole and the mountain vole

- one gene determines whether they mate for life or “play the field” Many Genes: One Outcomes

polygenic inheritance many genes interact together to produce particular trait/behavior

One Gene: Many Outcomes

pleiotropic effect any single gene can have many very different effects

Genetic Disorders: Single Cell Disorders

- Tay Sachs Disease


- Sickle Cell Anemia*

- Cystic Fibrosis

sickle cell anemia deformity/misshapen cells that (clog blood vessels) don’t go with the flow

The Problem w/ Y-Chromosome

- the Y-Chromosome is small and carries few genes

- pairs w/ an X-Chromosome that has lots of genes If you want to learn more check out What is z-score?

- any recessive genes on the X-Chromosome that don’t have a partner on the Y-Chromosome will be expressed in the phenotype - therefore, boys are more prone to genetic disorders than girls Genetic Counseling

- in each pregnancy, any couple statistically has 3% chance of having a child with a genetically based disorder

- family history of genetic disorders

- blood tests

- during pregnancy

- blood tests

- amniocentesis

- chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

How the environment shapes gene expression

canalization degree to which the expression of a gene is influenced by the environment

epigenetics a system by which genes are activated or silenced in response to events

How genes shape environmental influences

passive gene-environment interaction a child’s family shares genetically determined abilities and interests

active gene-environment interaction one’s genetic endowment becomes a driving force for children to seek out experiences that fit their genetic endowments

evocative gene-environment interaction children’s genetic endowment causes them to act in a way that draws out or evokes The Study of Culture and Behavior

culture a way of describing similarities and differences within one group of people to promote survival Don't forget about the age old question of A periodic table is divided into how many blocks?
We also discuss several other topics like It is a force that holds atoms together in a compound. what is it?

Difference v. Deficit

deficit other cultures don’t live up to one’s own standards difference other cultures must be understood in their context Cultural Values: Individualism v. Collectivism

individualism cultural value that emphasizes importance of individual with emphasis on independence and reliance on one’s own abilities

collectivism cultural value that emphasizes obligations to others within your group

Cultural Neuroscience

cultural neuroscience culture influences brain development and how we think

Transmitting Culture to Children

- promoting independence v. promoting interdependence - it varies from culture to culture

Additional Information

> development is influenced by genes and environment

> genes and environment also interact

- the environment influences gene expression

- genes influence the environment

> the interaction is complex and research is ongoing on this critical topic > nature v. nurture

Ch. 5 - Prenatal Development: birth and newborn Three Stages of Prenatal Development Don't forget about the age old question of The delta subunit that binds to calcium is called?

germinal stage

→ 0-2 weeks We also discuss several other topics like Who is the first to observe the milky way with a telescope?

- fertilization; cell division; creation of blastula

- implantation in the uterine wall

- blastocyst becomes an embryo

- trophoblast becomes the placenta

embryonic stage

→ 2 weeks - 2 months

- ectoderm skin

- mesoderm muscles, blood, bones and circulatory system - endoderm respiratory & digestive system, liver and pancreas fetal stage

→ 2 months - birth

- sexual differentiation; prenatal breathing

- development of the senses

Fetus Experience

- 17 weeks respond to touch and stimulation within the uterus - hear at about 20 weeks; see light at 22 weeks

- REM sleep develops at about 7 months

- 20 weeks develop taste influenced by what mom eats

- silent cry

Mother’s Experience of Pregnancy

- three trimesters of pregnancy

1. 0-3 months

○ morning sickness and fatigue

2. 4-6 months

○ woman feels baby moving

○ activity level prenatally predicts activity level after birth 3. 7-9 months

○ fatigue and discomfort

○ fetus “drops” to get into position for birth

Father’s Prenatal Experience

- support for mother-to-be: emotionally, physically, financially couvade syndrome is a condition where the father-to-be experiences pregnancy symptoms like weight gain, nausea, insomnia and mood swings

→ it's actually rather common

Ch. 6 - Physical Development and the Brain

Brain Development Structures

corpus callosum connect both left and right hemispheres Developmental Processes

- 100 billion neurons in the brain

synaptogenesis neurons connect where their axon meets the dendrites of another neuron at the synapse

- After overproduction of synapses in infancy, unused synapses are pruned away

Experience and Brain Plasticity

experience-expectant brain development development occurs during a sensitive period

experience-dependent brain development development occurs at any time in life

Myelination and Brain Development

- the Myelin sheath coats neurons to sent messages efficiently - myelination still occurs after birth through adolescence - it occurs in two directions

1. cephalocaudal head down

→ hold up head, roll over, sit up, crawl, cruise, walk

2. proximodistal center out to the extremities

→ palmar grasp, pincer grasp, tripod grasp

Brain/Body Disability

cerebral palsy

→ symptoms: muscle rigidity or lack of control of movement → causes: brain injury prenatally 70%, birth 20%, after 10% autism a pervasive developmental disorder linked with brain function

3 distinctive behaviors

1. difficulties with social interactions

2. problems with verbal and nonverbal communication 3. repetitive, compulsive behavior or interests

Types of Motor Skills

gross motor skills that involve the large muscles groups of the body → legs and arms

fine motor skills that involve small movements

→ mostly of hands and fingers but also lips and tongue Effects of Motor Development

- crawling brings new understanding of depth

→ visual cliff

Sensation and Perception

sensation information from the environment that is picked up by our sense organs

perception the process of interpreting and attaching meaning to sensory information

Mirror Neurons and Imitation

- even newborns can imitate simple actions

mirror neurons fire both when individual acts and observes same action performed by another


visual acuity the clarity of vision

- Infant visual preferences: high contrast and faces


- begins prenatally; prefers voices

Smell and Taste

- preference for mother’s smell

- babies taste what their mothers eat prenatally in the amniotic fluid and after birth through breast milk

Touch and Pain

- massage improves function of premature babies

- babies feel pain; can be helped by being held

- being touched is soothing; they need contact and comfort Cross-Modal Transfer of Perception

cross-modal senses “cross over”

→ visually recognize objects touched & not seen before (& vice versa) - infants can visually recognize something they have only touched and not seen, BUT cannot recognize by touching something they have just seen but not touched before

Body Growth and Changes

- body proportions change from infancy through childhood - arms and legs lengthen while head becomes more in proportion - bones grow at the epiphyses at their ends

Puberty: Sexual Maturation

- hormones begin the process

- primary sex characteristics: organs necessary for reproduction → menarche for girls; spermarche for boys

Timing of Puberty

- sequence of events is fixed; timing is variable

→ depending on weight and release of leptin, heredity and race Ch. 7 and 8 - Cognitive Development, Intelligence and Academic Achievement

What is Cognitive Development?

cognition the study of how the mind works

cognitive development focuses on the changes that occur in how we think and learn as we grow

- children do not know less than adults do; there are differences in the very way that they think about and understand their experiences Theories of Cognitive Development

1. Piaget’s Theory 

→ intelligence is an active, constructive, and dynamic process → mistakes children make in their thinking indicate the nature of their thought processes

→ as children develop, the structure of their thinking changes - these new modes of thought are based on earlier structures Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

sensorimotor birth to 2 years

→ from reflexes to goal-directed activity

→ from body to outside world

→ development of object permanence

preoperational 2 to 7 years

→ development of symbols

→ transductive reasoning

→ egocentrism

→ animism

→ lack of conservation

concrete operational 7 to 12 years

→ logical thought

→ reversibility

→ not capable of thinking abstractly

formal operational 12 years and older

→ abstract thought

→ hypothetico-deductive reasoning the ability to form hypothesis about how the world works and to reason logically

2. Lev Vygotsky’s Theory 

● → private speech

Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Scaffolding area of what children are capable of doing on their own and using that knowledge to assist the children

Processing Information

1. Attention: sustained and selective

- Infancy

○ infant preference of novelty; habituation

- Childhood

○ ability to direct and sustain attention

○ Individual differences

○ processing efficiency: automaticity

- Adolescence

○ multitasking myth


1. Inattentive

2. Hyperactive/Impulsive


- work w/ parents, school, teachers and medication

2. Memory

- Infancy

○ infantile amnesia although infants can remember, older children and adults have difficulty remembering before age 3 - Childhood

○ working memory: encoding strategies

■ repetition/elaboration/organization/association

○ knowledge base

3. Executive Function

- executive function coordinates attention and memory and controls behavioral responses for the purpose of attaining a certain goal inhibition the ability to stay on task and ignore distractions cognitive flexibility the ability to switch focus as you need to in order to complete the task

What is Intelligence?

intelligence those qualities that help us adapt successfully to our environment so that we achieve our goals in life, not just in school fluid intelligence being able to think and reason abstractly and solve problems

crystallized intelligence what we already know and can draw upon to solve problems

Ch. 15 - Resiliency, Impact of Poverty on Development Stress and Coping

stress anything that places excessive demands on one’s ability to cope

Normative and Non-Normative Stress

normative stress predictable and most go through

non-normative stress experience of unusual and unexpected distressing event

toxic stress requires strong, frequent and prolonged activation of body’s stress response system without any protective buffering from a supportive adult relationship

Allostatic Load

allostatic load long-term impact of exposure to chronic stress Coping

coping cognitive and behavioral efforts made to master, tolerate or reduce external and internal demands

problem-focused strategies focuses on solving a stressful problem emotion-focused strategies focuses on reducing or managing emotional distress

Chronic Illnesses

- asthma is the most common chronic illness

- 15-18% of children in the United States live with at least one of these conditions

Environmental Toxins and Threats

- environment may account for 25-40% of global burden of disease The Impact of Poverty

- the single most important indicator of child-wellbeing - in the United States 22% of children live in poverty

- rate if higher than in any other industrialized nation

Poverty is related to:

- Race

- 12% White, 35% Hispanic, 39% Black children live in poverty - Single-Parenting

- 60% of children in single parent families live in poverty - Age

- children under 16 are more likely to live in poverty


- lack of adequate health services and poor nutrition

- inconsistent living conditions

Outcomes of Poverty

- higher levels of mental retardation and developmental delay, learning disabilities, failure in school, health/behavior issues > the loner children live in poverty, the worse their outcomes are > homelessness (1.6 million homeless children in the U.S.)

What is “food desert”

food desert areas that lack access to healthy and fresh foods - 23.5 million people are more than 1 mile from a supermarket Impacts of food desert

- higher BMI at preschool age and overweight at 12 years - higher rates of premature diabetes

- malnutrition impacts child development and behavior What is trauma

trauma an emotional response to a terrible event immediately after event

→ a traumatic event is one that a child either witnesses or is involved in that is perceived as extremely threatening

Trauma and its effects

- immediate reactions: fears, anger, sadness, sleep disturbances… - long-term reaction: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Child Abuse and Neglect

physical, sexual and emotional abuse

neglect failure to meet child’s basic needs (housing, food, clothing…) > on average 4 children in the U.S. die daily due to abuse/neglect Racial Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination

racism discriminating against others based on their race stereotypes set idea that people have about a specific type of person or thing

prejudices preconceived ideas/opinions not based on reason or actual experience

discrimination negative behavior directed at that group Mental Health and Mental Disorder

- mood disorders: depression, bipolar

- anxiety disorders: generalized, separation, panic

- tic disorders: Tourette’s disorder; psychotic disorders: Schizophrenia Resilience

resilience the ability to successfully cope with a crisis and return to pre-crisis status quickly

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