PSYCH 212 Chapter 7 Notes
PSYCH 212 Chapter 7 Notes Psych 212
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julie Notetaker on Thursday June 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 212 at Pennsylvania State University taught by Dr. Hunt in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Developmental Psychology in Psychlogy at Pennsylvania State University.
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Date Created: 06/02/16
Cognitive development during first 3 years Approaches Behaviorist approach: concerned with basic mechanics of learning. Concerned with how behavior changes in response to experience Psychometric approach: seeks to measure the quantity of intelligence a person possesses by using tests that indicate or predict these abilities Piagetian approach: describes qualitative stages in cognitive functioning, concerned with how the mind structures its activates and adapts to the environment Information processing approach: observing and analyzing processes involved in perceiving and handling information. Focuses on perception, learning, memory, and problem solving. Cognitive neuroscience approach: examines the hardware of the CNS. Seeks to identify which brain structures are involved in specific aspects of cognition Social-contextual approach: examines the effects of environmental aspects of the learning process, particularly the role of parents and other caregivers Behaviorist approach Classical conditioning: learning based on associating a stimulus that does not ordinarily elicit a particular response with another stimulus that does elicit the response Operant conditioning: learning based on reinforcement or punishment Infant memory o Piaget said that early events are not retained in memory because the brain is not developed enough to store them o Freud believed that early memories are repressed because the are emotionally distressing o Evolutionary argue that abilities develop as they become useful for adapting to the environment o Early procedural and perceptual knowledge is not the same as later explicit, language- based memories of specific events used by adults. Infancy is a time of great change, and retention of early experiences is not useful for long o Operant conditioning can be used to determine what infants remember Carolyn Rovee-Collier brought 2-6 month old infants into lab and attached a string between one of their ankles and a mobile. They soon learned that when they kicked their leg, the mobile moved, increasing the number of kicks When later brought into the lab, they repeated the kicking even though their foot was not attached At 2 months, infant can remember for 2 days, and 18 month old can remember for 13 weeks o Appears to be linked specifically to the original cues encoded during conditioning 2-6 month olds trained to press a lever to make a train go around a track repeated the behavior only when they saw the original train 9-12 months, infants could generalize their memory and press the lever to make a different train move if no more than 2 weeks had gone by since conditioning 3 month olds could recognize a mobile train in a different setting than the one they were trained. But after a long delay they were unable to do so o Research indicates that infants memory is not fundamentally different from older children and adults except that retention time is shorter and memory is more dependent on encoding cues Brief, nonverbal exposure to the original stimulus can sustain a memory from early infancy through age 1.5-2 years Psychometric approach Intelligent behavior: behavior that is goal oriented and adaptive to circumstances and conditions of life Intelligence quotient IQ test: psychometric tests that seek to measure intelligence by comparing a test-taker’s performance with standardized norms o For school age children, intelligence test scores predict academic performance accurately and reliably o Because infants cannot tell us what they know, the most obvious way to gauge intelligence is by assessing what they can do. But if they do not grasp a rattle, it is hard to tell whether they do not know how, or do not feel like doing it Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development: standardized test of infants’ and toddlers mental and motor development o Designed to test children from 1 month-3.5 years o Measures cognitive, language, motor, social-emotional, and adaptive behavior o Developmental quotients DQs: separate scores calculated for each scale. Most commonly used for early detection of emotional disturbances and sensory, neurological, and environmental deficits and helping parents and professionals plan for a child’s needs Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment HOME: instrument designed to measure the influence of the home environment on children’s cognitive growth o Trained observers interview the primary caregiver and rate on a yes-or-no checklist the intellectual stimulation and support observed in a child’s home o HOME scores significantly correlated with measures of cognitive development o Parental responsiveness at 6 months has been positively correlated to IQ, achievement test scores, and classroom behavior at 13 years of age Passive genotype-environment correlation We cannot be sure based on correlational findings that parental responsiveness or an enriched home environment actually increases a child’s intelligence. Intelligent parents may be more likely to provide a positive, stimulating environment and because they pass on their genes, there may be a genetic influence as well o Emotional and verbal responsitivity of the primary caregiver: communicative and affective interactions between the caregiver and the child Mother spontaneously vocalizes to the child at least twice during visit Mother caresses or kisses child at least once during visit o Avoidance of restriction and punishment: how the adult disciplines the child Primary caregiver PC does not shout at child during visit PC does not express overt annoyance with or hostility toward the child o Organization of the physical and temporal environment: how the child’s time is organized outside the family house. What the child’s personal space looks like When PC is away, care is provided by 1 of 3 regular substitutes Child’s play environment appears safe and free of hazards o Provision of appropriate play materials: presence of several types of toys available to the child and appropriate for his/her age Child has one or more large muscle activity toys or pieces of equipment Provides equipment appropriate to age, such as infant seat, infant rocker, playpen o Parental involvement with child: how the adult interacts physically with the child PC tends to keep child within visual range and look at him/her often PC talks to child while doing her work o Opportunities for variety in daily stimulation: the way the child’s daily routine is designed to incorporate social meetings with people other than the mother Father provides some caregiving every day Family visits or receives visits from relatives approximately once a month Aspects of early home environment that support cognitive and psychosocial development and prepare children for school o Encouraging exploration of the environment o Celebrating developmental advances o Guidance in practicing and extending skills o Protection from inappropriate disapproval, testing, and punishment o Communicating richly and responsively o Guiding and limiting behavior Fostering competence o In early months, provide sensory stimulation but avoid overstimulation and distracting noises o As babies grow older, create an environment that fosters learning---one that includes books, interesting objects and a place to play o Respond to babies’ signals. This establishes a sense of trust that the world is a friendly place and gives them a sense of control over their lives. o Give babies power to effect changes through toys that can be shaken or moved. Let them turn on light, run faucet o Give babies freedom to explore Don’t confine them during the day in a crib, jump seat, and small room. Short periods in play pen. Baby proof and let them go o Talk to babies o In talking to babies, enter into whatever they are interested in at the moment instead of trying to redirect their attention to something else o Arrange opportunities to learn basic skills, such as labeling, comparing, and sorting objects, putting items in sequence, and observing consequences of actions o Applaud new skills and help babies practice and expand them. Stay close but do not hover o Read to babies in a warm caring atmosphere from an early age o Use punishment sparingly. Do not punish or ridicule results of normal trial and error exploration Early intervention: systematic process of providing services to help families meet young children’s developmental needs o Programs are expensive o Project CARE and Abecedarian (ABC) Project have total 174 at risk babies who participated from age 6 weeks-5 years. Experimental group was controlled in Partners for Learning, full day year round early childhood education program. Control groups received pediatric and social work services Both projects, children who received early intervention showed advantage in developmental test scores 12-18 months and equal to or better than the general population By age 3 the ABC IQ was 101, CARE 105, and control groups 84 and 93 o Initial gains tend to diminish without sufficient ongoing environmental support o Most effective early intervention Start early and continue through preschool Highly time intensive Center-based, providing direct educational experiences, not just parental training Take a comprehensive approach, including health, family counseling, and social services Tailored to individual differences and needs Piagetian approach Schemes: organized patterns of thought and behavior used in particular situations Circular reactions: processes by which an infant learns to reproduce desired occurrences originally discovered by chance Sensorimotor stage: (birth-age 2) first stage in cognitive development, during which infants learn through senses and motor activity o 1 ssubstage: Use of reflexes (birth-1 month) Infants exercise their inborn reflexes and gain control over them Do not coordinate information from their senses Do not grasp an object they are looking at (Baby begins sucking when her mother’s breast is in her mouth) nd o 2 Substage: Primary circular reactions (1-4 months) Infants repeat pleasurable behaviors that first occur by chance (thumb sucking) Activities focus on infants body rather than effects of behavior on the environment Make first acquired adaptations; they suck different objects differently Coordinate sensory information and grasp objects (turn toward sounds) o 3 rdSubstage: Secondary circular reactions (4-8 months) Infants become more interested in the environment; they repeat actions that bring interesting results (shaking rattle) and prolong interesting experiences Actions are intentional but not initially goal oriented (Pushing pieces of food over the edge of high chair one at a time and watching it fall) o 4 thSubtstage: Coordination of secondary schemes (8-12 months) Behavior more deliberate and purposeful as infants coordinate previously learned schemes and use previously learned behaviors to attain their goals (crawling across room to desired toy) Can anticipate events (Pushing musical button on book repeatedly and choosing it instead of the buttons th for the other songs) o 5 Substage: Tertiary circular reactions (12-18 months) Toddlers show curiosity and experimentation Purposefully vary actions to see results (shaking different rattles to hear sounds) Actively explore world to determine what is novel about an object, event, or situation Try out new activities and use trial and error in solving problems o 6 thSubstage: Mental combinations (18-24 months) Because they can mentally represent events, they are no longer confined to trial and error to solve problems Symbolic thought enables toddlers to begin to think about events and anticipate their consequences without always resorting to action Toddlers begin to demonstrate insight Can use symbols, such as gestures and words, and can pretend Representational ability: capacity to store mental images or symbols of objects and events Imitation o Visible imitation: imitation with parts of one’s body that one can see o Invisible imitation: imitation with parts of one’s body that one cannot see Recent studies show that babies less than 72 hours old can imitate adults by opening mouth and sticking out tongue. This ability disappears by 2 months of age Piaget said Invisible imitation develops around 9 months Controversial studies have found invisible imitation of facial expressions in newborns and deferred imitation as early as 6 weeks o May lay basis for later social cognition, the ability to understand the goals, actions, and feelings of others o May serve evolutionary purpose of communication with caregiver o Deferred imitation: reproduction of an observed behavior after the passage of time by calling up a stored symbol of it Piaget said deferred imitation begins after development of mental representations 18-24 months He relied on asking children for explanations for their behavior, which they have limited ability to do, he may have underestimated abilities Recent findings indicate Deferred imitation of complex activities seems to exist as early as 6 months o Elicited imitation: research method in which infants or toddlers are induced to imitate a specific series of actions they have seen but not necessarily done before 40% 9 month olds can reproduce a simple two step procedure after a delay of 1 month on the basis of only the initial demonstration and explanation without further training How well they perform may be tied to how well they consolidate the memory into LTM 80% of toddlers 13-20 months can repeat an unfamiliar, multistep sequence a year after seeing it Factors determining long-term recall Number of times a sequence of events has been experienced Whether the child actively participated or merely observed Whether the child is given verbal reminders of the experience Whether the sequence of events occurs in a logical, causal order Object concept: idea that objects have independent existence, characteristics, and locations in space o Object permanence: understanding that a person or object still exists when out of sight According to Piaget, at first they have no concept. 4-8 months they will look for something they drop but if they can’t find it they act like it does not exist A-not-B error: tendency for 8-12 month old infants to search for a hidden object in a place where they previously found it, rather than the place where they most recently saw it being hidden 12-18 months they will search for an object the last place they saw it hidden 18-24 object permanence fully achieved, they will look for object they did not see hidden Dynamic systems theory proposes that the decision of where to search for a hidden object is not about what babies know, but about what they do, and why If time elapsed is brief, infant is more likely to reach for object in new location. When interval is longer, memory of having found object in older place inclines infant to search there again Other research suggests that babies may fail to search for hidden objects because they cannot carry out a 2-step or 2-handed sequence of actions. When given repeated opportunities, a 6-12 month old can succeed When tested by hiding object in darkness, making it a 1-step motion, 4-8 months can do well Symbolic development o Symbols: intentional representations of reality o Pictorial competence: ability to understand the nature of pictures Studies have observed infants using their hands to explore pictures as if they were objects, grasping them or trying to lift them off the page, this disappears by 15 months At 19 months children point at a picture of a bear and say its name By age 2, they understand that the picture is both an object and a symbol An experiment had 2 and 2.5 year olds watch on a video monitor as an adult hid an object in an adjoining room. When taken to the room, 2.5 year olds found object easily but 2 year olds could not. But the 2 year olds could find the object if they watched the adult hide it through a window Follow up had 2 year olds told face to face where an object was and they could find it. When they received the information from a video they could not o Scale error: momentary misperception of the relative size of objects 18-36 year olds were aloud to play with child-sized objects such as a car and then those objects were replaced my tiny objects. They tried to fit into the smaller objects o Duel representation hypothesis: proposal that children under age 3 have difficulty grasping spatial relationships because of the need to keep more than one mental representation in mind at the same time They can either focus on the particular chair (this is a mini chair) or the symbol and what it represents (chairs are for sitting in), and so they may confuse the two Categorization o Piaget said it depends on representational thinking which develops during 6 substage 18-24 months o Brain imaging has found that basic components of the neural structures needed to support categorization are functional within first 6 months of life o Infants first categorize based on perceptual features such as shape, color, pattern, but by 12-14 months, categories become conceptual, based on real world knowledge and particularity of function o 10-11 month olds could recognize that a zebra printed chair belonged with furniture instead of animals Causality o Piaget said causality develops slowly between 4-6 months and 1 year, based on infant’s first discovery, first of effects of own actions and then of effects of outside forces nd st o Studies suggest that causality emerges in 2 half of 1 year, when infants have gained experience in observing how and when objects move Information processing approach Habituation: type of learning in which familiarity with a stimulus reduces, slows, or stops a response o The rate of habituation (how soon infants look away) can be used to ask infants how interesting they think various objects are o Researchers repeatedly present a stimulus such as sound or visual pattern, and the monitor responses such as heart rate, sucking, eye movements, and brain activity A baby who has been sucking stops when something catches interest. They resume sucking after novelty wears off o Dishabituation: increase in responsiveness after presentation of a new stimulus o Liking to look at new things and habituating to them quickly correlates with later signs of cognitive development such as preference for complexity, rapid exploration of the environment, sophisticated play, quick problem solving, and ability to match pictures Visual preference: tendency of infants to spend more time looking at one sight than another o Researchers use this to ask babies which of two objects they prefer o Babies less than 2 days prefer curved lines to straight, complex patterns to simple, 3D objects to 2D, face pictures to nonfaces, moving to stationary objects, o Novelty preference: infants prefer new sights to familiar ones o Visual recognition memory: ability to distinguish a familiar visual stimulus from an unfamiliar stimulus when shown both at the same time o When shown two sights at the same time, infants who quickly shift attention from one to another tend to have better recognition memory and stronger novelty preference than infants who take longer looks Speed of processing increases rapidly in first year and continues to increase in 2 ndand 3 year, as toddlers are able to separate new information from information they have already processed Auditory discrimination studies have found that newborns can tell sounds they have already heard from those they have not, as shown by reduced tendency to turn heads toward familiar sound Cross-model transfer: ability to use information gained by one sense to guide another o Finding your way around a dark room by touching familiar objects Birth-2 months, amount of time infants gaze at new sight increases. 2-9 months, looking time decreases as infants learn to scan objects more efficiently and shift attention. 1-2 years, sustaining attention becomes more voluntary and task-oriented so looking time plateaus or increases Joint attention develops 10-12 months, when babies follow adults gaze by looking or pointing in same direction o One study, 10/11 month olds’ ability to follow an adult’s gaze and the length of time they spent looking at the object the adult was gazing at predicted spoken vocabulary at 18 months and 2 years. Infants who pointed at the object as well had the fastest vocabulary growth o The more hours children spend viewing TV at 1-3 years, the more likely they were to have attentional problems by age 7 Visual expectation paradigm: research design where a series of computer generated pictures briefly appear some on left and some on right of infant’s peripheral visual field. Same sequence repeated several times. o Visual reaction time how quickly infant’s eye movements shifts to picture that has just appeared o Visual anticipation: how quickly eye movements shift to when the infant expects the next picture o Measurements thought to indicate attentiveness and processing speed, as well as tendency to form expectations on basis of experience Children who, are efficient at taking in and interpreting sensory information later score well on intelligence tests o Most of these studies use small samples o Predictions based on information processing do not take into account environmental factors Maternal responsiveness in early infancy plays a part in early attentional abilities and cognitive abilities later in childhood Causality o Infants 6.5 months old have shown by habituation and dishibituation that they see a difference between events that are the immediate cause of other events, and events that occur without no apparent cause o “Blicket detector”, rigged to light up and play music only when “blickets” were place on it. 2 years were able to decide which objects were blickets by watching the device operate o In an experiment, 10-12 month infants looked longer when a human hand emerged after a beanbag had been thrown across the stage than when the hand appeared opposite the side it had been thrown. They did not have same reaction when toy train appeared or when object was self-propelled puppet Another experiment showed 7 month olds who had begun crawling recognized self- propelled objects but noncrawling 7 month olds did not. Suggesting that infants ability to identify self-propelled motion is linked with development of self- locomotion Violations-of expectations: research method in which dishabitiation to a stimulus that conflicts with experience is taken as evidence that an infant recognizes the new stimulus as surprising o In familiarization phase, infants see an event happen normally. After habituated, the event is changed in a way that conflicts with normal expectations. If baby looks longer at changed event, implying surprise o 3.5 months were shown animation of carrot moving back and forth behind a screen. Screen was notched so a tall carrot should have shown as it moved in front of notch. The carrot would either be seen as it passed in front of notch (possible event), or would appear at other side without being shown in middle (impossible event). They showed surprise by looking longer at impossible event Number o Piaget said depends on use of symbols, 18-24 months o Karen Wynn had 5 month olds watch as Mickey dolls were placed behind a screen, and a doll was either added or taken away. Screen was lifted to reveal either number of dolls that should be there or different. They looked longer at wrong answers than right ones May be responding to difference in collective mass of objects rather than comparing number of objects in sets McCrink and Wynn showed 9 months olds 5 abstract objects that went behind an opaque square, 5 more objects then appeared and went behind square, infants looked longer when screen dropped to reveal 5 objects than 10 o 3 year olds do not understand that if you rearrange objects their number stays the same Evaluating information processing research o Theorists argue whether visual interest in an impossible condition reveals a perceptual awareness that something unusual has happened or a conceptual understanding of the way things work o Baillargeon showed infants of various ages a drawbridge rotating 180 degrees. When habituated, a barrier was introduced in form of a box. At 4.5 months, infants seemed to understand that drawbridge could not move through entire box, but 6.5 months they recognized drawbridge cannot pass through 80% of box Replication of experiment eliminated the box. At 5 months, infants looked longer at 180 degree rotation than at a lesser degree of rotation, even though no barrier present, suggesting they were demonstrating a preference for greater movement Infants and TV By 3 months, 40% of US infants watch an hour of TV, or videos every day. By age 2, 90% watch an average of 1.5 hours American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Public Education recommend that children under 2 not watch TV Cognitive Neuroscience Approach Implicit/procedural memory: unconscious recall, generally of habits and skills Explicit/ declarative memory: intentional and conscious memory. Generally of facts, names, and events Maturing of hippocampus, a structure deep in temporal lobes, along with development of cortical structures coordinated by hippocampal formation make longer lasting memories possible Prefrontal cortex, large portion of the frontal lobe directly behind the forehead, believed to control many aspects of cognition. Develops more slowly than any other part of brain o Working memory: short term storage of information being actively processed o May explain slow development of object permanence, which seems to be in rearward area of prefrontal cortex o By 12 months, this region may be developed enough to permit infant to avoid A-not-B error Social-contextual approach Guided participation: participation of an adult in a child’s activity in a manner that helps to structure the activity and to bring the child’s understanding of it closer to that of the adult o Inspired by Vygotsky’s view of learning as collaborative process o Cross-cultural study visited 14 homes with 1-2 year olds in Guatemala, India, US, and Turkey. Investigators interviewed caregivers about child-rearing and watched them help toddlers dress and play with new toys In Guatemala and India where children saw mothers sewing and accompanied mothers at work in fields, children played alone or with older siblings while mother worked. After mostly nonverbal initial demonstration the children took over, while caregiver remained available to help. US toddlers interacted with adults in context of child’s lay rather than work social worlds. Caregivers managed and motivated children’s learning with praise and excitement Turkish families in transition from rural to urban way of life showed were between Language development Language: communication system based on words and grammar Prelinguistic speech: utterance of sounds that are not words. Includes crying, cooing, babbling, and accidental and deliberate imitation of sounds without understanding their meaning Language milestones o Birth: can perceive speech, cry, make some responses to sound o 1.5-3 months: coos and laughs o 3 months: plays with speech sounds o 5-6 months: recognizes frequently heard sound patterns o 6-7 months: recognizes all phonemes of native language o 6-10 months: babbles in strings of consonants and vowels o 9 months: uses gestures to communicate and plays gesture games o 9-10 months: intentionally imitates sounds o 9-12 months: uses a few social gestures o 10-12 months: no longer can discriminate sounds not in own language o 10-14 months: says first word (usually label for something) o 10-18 months: says single words o 12-13 months: Understands symbolic function of naming; passive vocabulary grows o 13 months: uses more elaborate gestures o 14 months: uses symbolic gesturing o 16-24 months: learns many new words, expanding expressive vocab rapidly, going from 50-400; uses verbs and adjectives o 18-24 months: Says first sentence (2 words) o 20 months: uses fewer gestures; names more things o 20-22 months: has comprehension spurt o 24 months: uses many two-word phrases, no longer babbles, wants to talk o 30 months: learns new words almost every day, speaks in combos of 3 or more words; understands well; makes grammatical mistakes o 36 months: says up to 1000 words, 80% intelligible, makes some mistakes in syntax Early vocalization o Crying is first means of communication. Different pitches, patterns and intensities signal hunger, sleepiness, and anger. Aversive nature motivates adults to find source of problem and fix it o 6 weeks-3 months babies start cooing when they are happy, squealing, gurgling, and vowels sounds like “ahh” o 3-6 months babies begin to play with speech sounds, matching sounds from people around them o Babbling, repeating consonant vowel strings such as ma ma occurs 6-10 months. Does not hold meaning for baby o At first, babies accidentally imitate language sounds and them imitate themselves making these sounds. They are reinforced by their parents and encourage to produce sounds more and more over time o 9-10 months, infants deliberately imitate sounds without understanding them. Once infants become familiar with sounds they attach meanings to them Perceiving language sounds and structure o Infants can perceive subtle differences between sounds from or even before birth. Brains seem to be preset to discriminate basic linguistic units, perceive linguistic patterns, and categorize them as similar or different o Phonemes: smallest units of sound in speech (dog has 3 phonemes, d, o, g) At first, infants can discriminate phonemes of any language. The ongoing process of pattern perception and categorization commits the brain’s neural networks to further learning of the patterns of the infants native language and constrains future learning on nonnative language patterns Hypothesis that infants mentally compute the relative frequency of particular phonetic sequences in their language and learn to ignore sequences they infrequently hear Hypothesis that early language experience modifies the neural structure of the brain, facilitating rapid progress toward detection of word patterns in the native language while suppressing attention to nonnative patterns that would slow native learning By 6-7 months, learned to recognize approx. 40 phonemes and to adjust to slight differences in the way different speakers form these sounds 6-12 months, babies become aware of phonological rules of their language (bnick is not probable) Gestures o Pointing helps regulate joint interactions and does not need to be taught o Conventional social gestures: waving good-bye, nodding and shaking head o Representational gestures: hold empty cup to mouth to show thirst, holding arms up to be picked up o Symbolic gestures: blowing to mean hot, sniffing to mean flower o Hearing and deaf babies use gestures in same way o Study showed parents’ use of gestures predicted child’s use of gestures at 14 months, and child’s vocab at 42 months First words o Average 10-14 months o Linguistic speech: verbal expression designed to convey meaning o Holophase: single word that conveys a complete thought o Infants 5 months old listen longer to their name than other names o Researchers record eye movements while listening to names for pictures on a screen, such as apple or dog. Infants 8 months or younger start learning forms of words by discerning perceptual cues as syllables that usually occur together (ba and by) and store these possible word forms in memory. Also notice pronunciation, stress placed on syllables, and changes in pitch o 10 months, infants associate a name with object they find interesting, whether or not the name is the correct one. 12 months they pay attention to cues from adults, but they still learn names only for interesting objects and ignore uninteresting ones. 18-24 months children follow social cues, regardless of intrinsic interest of the objects. 24 months, children recognize names of familiar objects in absence of visual cues o Receptive vocabulary: what infants understand By 18 months, children can understand 150 words and can say 50 of them Children with larger vocabs and quicker reaction times can recognize words from just the first part of the word o Expressive vocabulary: spoken Toddler may rapidly progress from 50-several hundred words Nouns are easiest type of word to learn First sentences o 18-24 months o Telegraphic speech: early form of sentence use consisting of only a few essential words Omission of functional words such as “is” and “the” does not mean that infant does not know them. Infants are sensitive to presence of functional words and by 10.5 months they can tell when a normal passage’s functional words have been replaced by nonsense words o Syntax: rules for forming sentences in a particular language o 20-30 months increasingly aware of communicative purpose of speech and of whether they are being understood o By 3, speech is fluent and more complex, they usually get meaning across well Characteristics of early speech o Simplify o Understand grammatical relationships they cannot yet express o Underextend word meanings: use words in too narrow a category 13 month old calling her toy car “koo-ka” but not other toy cars. Restricting the word to a single object o Overextend word meanings: using words in too broad of a category (thinking all old men are grandpa) o Overregulate rules: children inappropriately apply syntactical rule “I drawed that” “We eated dinner” By early school age they become more proficient in language and memorize exceptions and begin to apply them Theories of language acquisition o Learning theory Skinner thought children learn language through operant conditioning Social learning theory extended for imitation Over time, parents’ selective reinforcement of closer and closer approximations to speech in the right context results in shaping of language o Nativism: theory that human beings have an inborn capacity for language acquisition Noam Chomsky said language is too complex to be all from imitation and reinforcement Caregivers often reinforce utterances that are not grammatical as long as they make sense Adult speech is unreliable model to imitate due to errors, unfinished sentences, and slips of tongue Learning theory does not account for children’s imaginative ways of saying things Language acquisition device LAD: inborn mechanism that enables children to infer linguistic rules from the language they hear Support for nativism Newborn ability to differentiate similar sounds Almost all children master native language in same age related sequence without formal teaching Brains of humans contain structure that is larger on one side than on the other, suggesting inborn mechanism may be localized in larger hemisphere (left for most) Deaf babies learn language in same fashion and sequence as hearing infants. Babies imitate sign language fist by stringing together meaningless motions and then repeating them, hand babbling Sensitivity periods for language Criticism of nativism Does not tell why some children acquire language more rapidly and efficiently than others Speech depends on having someone to talk with, not merely hearing spoken language Does not address motivational aspects of language development, that babies are compelled and rewarded for communicating Inventing sign language o Researchers have studied children born deaf to parents who do not know sign language and do not expose children to one Home signs: Children communicate spontaneously through gestures organized differently from causal gestures parents use Children’s gestures language like; correspond to parts of speech such as nouns and verbs, which are combined into sentence like strings Do not constitute language system because children lack nonhearing parents with whom to communicate Influences on language development o Brain development Newborns cries are controlled by brain stem and pons, the most primitive parts of brain and earliest to develop Repetitive babbling emerges with maturation of parts of motor cortex, which controls movements of face and larynx Brain imaging study point to link between brain’s phonetic perception and motor systems as early as 6 months, which strengthens by 12 months Language exposure helps shape developing brain and brain helps infant learn language Brain scans: measure changes in electrical potential at particular brain sites during cognitive activity In toddlers with large vocabs, brain activation focuses on left temporal and parietal lobes, whereas toddlers with smaller vocabs have scattered activation Cortical regions associated with language continue to develop until late preschool years and beyond 98% of people, left hemisphere is dominant for language, though the right participates as well In babies and adults, mouth opens more on right side than on left because left hemisphere controls right side o Social interaction Children who grow up without normal social contact do not develop language normally, nor do children who only watch TV without interacting with live partner Parents provide opportunities for communicative experience, which motivates babies to learn language Parents provide models of language use Age of caregivers, way they interact with infant, child’s birth order, child care experience, schooling, peers, and TV all affect pace and course of language development o Prelinguistic period Parent’s imitation of babies sounds affects the amount of infant vocalization and the pace of language learning Parents help babies experience social aspect of speech and a sense that a conversation consists of taking turns Caregivers can help babies understand by pointing Mother’s responsiveness predicts timing of language milestones o Vocabulary development When babies talk, caregivers can boost vocab by repeating their first words and pronouncing them correctly Strong relationship between frequency of specific words in mother’s speech and order in which children learn these words as well as mother’s talkativeness and size of toddler vocab Mothers with high SES use richer vocabs, and children have larger vocabs Children in bilingual homes develop milestones in each language on same schedule as those with one language Code mixing: use of elements of two languages, sometimes in the same utterances, by young children in households where both languages are spoken Code switching: changing one’s speech to match the situation, as in people who are bilingual o Child directed speech: form of speech often used in talking to babies or toddlers; includes slow, simplified speech, high-pitched tone, exaggerated vowel sounds, short words and sentences, and much repetition; also called parentese Documented in many languages and cultures Researchers believe this helps infants learn native language or pick it up faster by exaggerating and directing attention to distinguishing features of speech sounds Infants are captured by sound and find it highly engaging, resulting in more rapid learning Few theorist contend that babies speak sooner if they respond to more complex adult speech Literacy: ability to read and write o Frequency caregivers read can influence how well children speak and eventually how well and soon they become literate o Children read to daily have better cognitive and language skills at age 3 and better reading comprehension at age 7 o Reading styles Describer: focuses on describing what is going on in the pictures and invites child to do so as well Comprehender: encourages child to look more deeply at meaning of story and to make inferences and predictions Performance-oriented: reads story straight through, introducing main themes beforehand and asking questions afterward A New Zealand study showed the describer style resulted in greatest overall benefits for vocabulary and print skills, but performance oriented style was more beneficial for children who started out with large vocabularies
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