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Prenatal Development  Embryonic period- when firmly attached to the uterus, the

developing organism will be called an embryo

 Fertilization- process where an egg (ovum) and a sperm unite  last from 2 weeks after conception to 8 weeks
 Zygote- resulting single cell with 46 chromosomes  cells continue to specialize—becomes organs and
 Mitosis- division process in which the zygote divides itself into 2, 4, structures
and later 8, with each new cell having 46 chromosomes due to the  end: embryo- 1- inch long, has primitive eyes,
duplication done by the DNA molecules nose, lips, teeth, little arms and legs, and a
o When the division process doesn’t work like the usual— beating heart (not fully developed and not
twins or multiples completely functional)
 Critical period- times when some environmental influences have
TWO KINDS OF TWINS an impact on the development of an infant
 vulnerability of the embryo to hazards i.e
 Monozygotic twin- referred to as ‘identical’ disease of the mother, drugs, toxins (bc the
 two babies come from one (mono) fertilized egg embryo begins to receive nourishment from the
(zygote) mother thru the placenta)
 the mass of cells splits completely into two
separate masses PRENATAL HAZARDS
 Dizygotic twins- referred to as ‘fraternal’
 two eggs are fertilized  Teratogen- any substance (drug, chemical, virus) that can cause a
 triplets/ multiples birth defect
 more likely to happen to a woman taking a  alcohol- fetal alcohol syndrome—stunted growth,
fertility drugs facial deformities, brain damage i.e intellectual
 when a woman’s body releases more than one disability
egg at a time or when an egg is released after fetal alcohol spectrum disorders- larger category
having conceived one of permanent birth defects where the FAS is in
 Conjoined twins- mass of cells does not completely split apart
 may involve a small tissue or the sharing of  Fetal period- period of tremendous growth from 8 weeks after
certain body parts e.g Abby and Britanny conception until birth
(dicephaly)  developing organism is now called fetus
 length increases 20 times and weight increases
 Germinal period- 2-week period of pregnancy from 1 ounce to approximately 7 pounds
 after the fertilization  organs continue to develop and becomes
 the zygote moves down to the uterus (1st week) functional
uterus- muscular organ that contains and protects  teratogens will more likely affect the physical
the developing organism functioning of the organs rather than their
 2nd week: mass of cells forms a hollow ball that structure
attaches itself to the wall of the uterus—placenta  last few months: development of fat and growth
and umbilical cord also begin to form until the end of 38th week
Placenta- provides nourishment and filters  38th week= full term fetus
away the baby’s waste products  babies are born between 38 and 40 weeks
Umbilical cord- connects the organism to the preterm- born before 38 weeks—needs life
placenta support top survive
 cells begin to differentiate—develop into age of viability- (babies have the possibility to
specialized cells (skin cells, heart cells, STEM survive outside the womb) between 22 (10%)
CELLS) and 26 (85%) weeks
 miscarriage/ spontaneous abortion- usually happen in the first 3
 most likely caused by a genetic defect



 Preferential looking- assumes that the longer the infants look at a

certain stimulus, the more the infants prefer the stimulus over
 Habituation- tendency for infants (also adults) to stop paying
attention to a stimulus that does not change


-respiratory system begins to function, blood circulates within the infant’s

system after the umbilical cord was cut, body temp regulates not by amniotic
acid, digestive system takes long to develop resulting to excess body fats

 Reflexes- infants have a set of innate (existing from birth),

involuntary behavior called reflexes
 Helps them to interact with environment
 Motor development- from crawling to a blur of motion
 Brain development- infant’s brain: 100 billion neurons—brain
triples in weight because of the growth of these neurons
 growth of new dendrites, axon terminals, and
synaptic connections
 infant brain after birth: synaptic pruning- loss of
neurons (unused synaptic connections and nerve
cells are cleared away)
 sense of touch is the most developed as well as the sense of smell
 sense of taste is nearly fully developed—preference for sweets
(breast milks are sweet)
 hearing is functional—more responsive in high pitch sounds such as
female voice; fluids of the womb must be out to the auditory canal
 vision is the least functional- rods are developed first rather than
cones (6 months to develop)—fuzzy vision
preference in looking at a complex patterns, three dimensions---
human face
depth perception –the visual cliff experiment