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Cognitive Development during

the First Three Years


Chapter 5

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Guideposts for Study


1)
2)
3)

4)

What are the six approaches to the study of


cognitive development?
How do infants learn, and how long can they
remember?
Can infants and toddlers intelligence be
measured, and how can it be improved?
How did Piaget explain early cognitive
development, and how well have his claims
stood up?
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Guideposts for Study


5)

6)
7)
8)

How can we measure infants ability to


process information, and when do infants
begin to understand characteristics of the
physical world?
What can brain research reveal about the
development of cognitive skills?
How does social interaction with adults
advance cognitive competence?
How do babies develop language, and what
influences contribute to linguistic progress?
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Behaviorist Approach
Babies are born with the ability to learn
Classical conditioning
Operant conditioning

Reinforcement and punishment

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Classical Conditioning

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Infant Memory

Infantile amnesia: Inability to


remember events prior to age 3 years

Operant conditioning with mobiles

Babies can remember mobiles


they played with days
or weeks ago
Infants and toddlers can
remember toy trains and mobiles
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Psychometric Approach

IQ tests
Developmental tests
Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development:
Measures current development, not future
functioning
Mental scale
Motor scale
Behavior training scale
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HOME
Home observation of the
environment
Among other things, assesses:

Parental responsiveness
Number of books in home
Presence of educational playthings
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Early Intervention

Project CARE
Partners for Learning
Most effective interventions:

Start early and continue through preschool years


Time-intensive
Provide direct educational experiences
Include health, family counseling, and social services
Tailored to individual differences and needs

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Piagetian Sensorimotor Stage


Substage

Age in
Months

Description

Reflexes

Up to 1

Gain control over reflexes

Primary Circular

14

Repeat pleasurable chance


behaviors (thumb sucking)

Secondary Circular

48

Repeat interesting actions

Coordinate
Secondary Circular

812

Purposeful and deliberate


behavior

Tertiary

1218

Curiosity and experimentations

Mental
Combinations

1824

Symbolic thought; insight


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Circular Reactions

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Types of Imitation

Invisible
Using body parts baby cannot see like
the mouth

Visible
Hands and feet parts baby can see

Deferred
Imitation after a delay

Elicited
Imitating based on an explanation only

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Object Permanence

Realizing that an object exists even when out of


sight
Prior to 8 months
If I drop my toy and I cant see it it is gone!
THIS is why peek-a-boo is so much fun!

812 months
You hid my toy Im looking for it the last place I saw it!

After a year
You hid my toy Im looking for it!

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Window on the World:


Playing Peek-a-boo

Cultural differences
Cognitive development
Scaffolding

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Object Permanence
Dynamic systems theory
Not about what babies know, but
about what they do and why

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Representational Thinking

Pictorial Competence

Ability to understand the nature of


pictures
Develops about 19 months of age
Seeing a picture of sun
and saying suh

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Dual Representation
Hypothesis

Pictorial competence develops slowly


because it is difficult for children to
simultaneously mentally represent:
a picture
AND
the object the picture represents
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Info-Processing Approach

Habituation
A type of learning in which familiarity is
indicated by reduced response

Dishabituation
Increase in responsiveness after presentation
with a new stimulus

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Visual Preferences

Novelty preference

Paying more attention to new visual


stimuli
Demonstrating ability to tell new from old,
or visual recognition memory

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Cross-Modal Transfer

Using one or more senses to


guide another sense
Feeling your way through a dark
room, then finding the way visually
when lights are on

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Watching Television

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Information Processing:
Categorization

Perceptual
Based on how things look
Birds and planes both have
wings and can fly

Conceptual
Based on what things are
Chairs, tables, and sofas are
all furniture items

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Information Processing: Causality


Understanding that one event causes
another
Allows us to control and predict world
Develops at around 6 months

Manipulating a mobile
with hands or feet

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Violation of Expectations

Phase 1: Familiarization
Infant watches as events happen normally

Phase 2: Violation of Expectation


The event is changed in a way that conflicts with
past procedure

If infant watches the conflict event longer, it is


interpreted as noticing a change
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Violating Expectations to
Study Object Permanence

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Cognitive Neuroscience:
Types of Memory

Explicit

Implicit

Conscious or intentional
Facts, names, and events

Unconscious recall
Habits and skillsprocedural memory

Working

Short-term storage of active information


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Number
5-month-olds watched Mickey
Mouse dolls, added or
subtracted from behind a
screen
When screen was lifted,
babies looked longer at
wrong answers

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Social Contextual Approach:


Learning from Caregivers

Interactions with adults during activities


Helps bridge level of knowledge between
adult and child
Cultural differences

U.S. children engage in more play activities


Guatemalan children engage in more work
activities

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Language Development

Language
A communication system based on word,
grammar, and cognitive development

Literacy
The ability to read and write

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Early Vocalizations

Crying
Newborns

Cooing
Repeating vowel sounds: ahhhh
68 weeks

Babbling
Repeating consonant sounds: ma-ma-ma
610 months

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Recognizing Language
Sounds

Precedes language ability


Fetuses heart rates slow when they hear
familiar nursery rhymes
By 6 months, babies learn to recognize
basic sounds of their native language
phonemes

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Gestures

Conventional Social
Waving bye-bye, nodding head to mean yes

Representational
Holding arms up means pick me up

Symbolic
Blowing means hot

Learning gestures helps babies learn to talk


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First Words

Linguistic Speech
Verbal expression that conveys meaning
Around 1014 months of age

Holophrase
Simple syllables that have complete meanings
Da could mean Where is Daddy?

Naming explosion occurs at 1624 months


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First Sentences

Telegraphic Speech
23 words expressing one idea
No do means Do not do that

Competence in syntax gradually


increases

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Early Speech Characteristics

Understanding of grammar precedes


use of it
Underextension of word meanings
The word doggy only refers to your dog

Overextension of word meanings


All men with gray hair are Grampa

Overregularizing of rules
I thinked about it!

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Theories of
Language Acquisition

Nature vs. nurture?


Behaviorist view: Reinforcement and
imitation
Chomskys nativism

Brain has the innate capacity to learn language


Language acquisition device (LAD)

Synthesis of innate capacity and behaviorist


principles most likely
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Influences on Early Language


Development
Maturation of the brain
Social interaction with parents and
caregivers

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Language Is a Social Act

Prelinguistic Period
Adults repeat sounds baby makes

Vocabulary Development
Parent holds ball while saying
This is a ball
Bilingual code mixing and
code switching

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Child-Directed Speech
Parentesebaby talk
Simplified words
Exaggerated vowel sounds
May help children learn native tongue
faster

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Adult Reading Styles


with Children

Describer

Comprehender

Adult focuses on describing events in story


Invites child to do so, too
Encourages child to look deeper into meaning of
story (What will the lion do now?)

Performance-oriented

Introduces themes of story and asks questions


after reading
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Dialogic Reading
Shared reading
Child becomes the storyteller
Adult is active listener
Adult asks open-ended
questions

Why do you think


the bunny is afraid?

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