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Life-Span Development

Twelfth Edition
Chapter 2:
Biological Beginnings

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 Natural Selection: an evolutionary process by which
those individuals of a species that are best adapted are
the ones that survive and reproduce
• Based on Darwin’s theory
• Survival characteristics are passed on in genes
 Can produce a gradual modification of the population over many
generations
• Survival characteristics may change based on environmental
conditions
 Adaptive Behavior: behavior that promotes an
organism’s survival in the natural habitat

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 Evolutionary Psychology: emphasizes the
importance of adaptation, reproduction, and
“survival of the fittest” in shaping behavior
• Fit: the ability to bear offspring that survive long
enough to bear offspring of their own
 Natural selection favors behaviors that increase
reproductive success
• David Buss is a very influential evolutionary
psychologist

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All rights reserved. Inc. Extended childhood period allows time to develop a large brain and learn complexity of human society  Many evolved psychological mechanisms are domain-specific • Information processing  Evolved mechanisms are not always adaptive in contemporary society ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. .

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All rights reserved. Inc. . Why do humans live so long after reproduction? • Perhaps older people improve the survival rate of babies  Paul Baltes: benefits of evolutionary selection decrease with age • Natural selection is tied to reproductive fitness • Does not weed out harmful conditions that appear among older adults  Increases our need for culture ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Inc. but it does not dictate behavior • People create behavior in the context of culture ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Evolutionary psychology approach is just one theory of many • It has its limitations and weaknesses. and its critics  Bidirectional view: environmental and biological conditions influence each other • Evolution gives us bodily structures and biological potentialities. All rights reserved. .

Inc. Human life begins as a single cell  Nucleus of each cell contains chromosomes • Chromosomes: thread-like structures made up of DNA • DNA: a complex double-helix molecule that contains genetic information  Genes: units of hereditary information in each chromosome • Genes direct cells to reproduce themselves and to assemble proteins  Proteins: building blocks of cells and regulators that direct the body’s processes ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved. .

 Each gene has its own unique location on a particular chromosome • Human Genome Project attempted to map the human genome  Genome: complete set of developmental instructions for the making of a human organism • Results indicated that humans have about 20. .000 genes  Humans have far more proteins than they have genes  Genes collaborate with each other and with non- genetic factors inside and outside the body  Genetic expression is affected by the environment ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.000 to 22. All rights reserved. Inc.

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Inc. All rights reserved. All cells in the human body (except sperm and egg) have 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs  Mitosis: reproduction of cells • Nucleus (including chromosomes) duplicate. and the cell divides  Meiosis: cell division that forms sperm and eggs (gametes) • Each cell divides twice. . forming four cells with 23 unpaired chromosomes ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Inc. All rights reserved. XY = male ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Fertilization: fusing of sperm and egg to create a zygote • Creates one set of paired chromosomes (23 from each parent)  Child’s sex determined by 23rd pair of chromosomes • XX = female. .

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 Combining genes of both parents increases genetic variability • Chromosomes in zygote are not exact copies  Identical (monozygotic) twins develop from a single zygote that splits into two  Fraternal (dizygotic) twins develop from separate eggs and sperm  Gene mutations can permanently alter segments of DNA ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved. Inc. .

All rights reserved. Inc. Genotype: a person’s genetic material  Phenotype: observable characteristics • A range of phenotypes can be expressed for each genotype  Dominant-Recessive Genes Principle: a dominant gene always exerts its effects. . overriding the potential influence of the recessive gene • A recessive gene only exerts influence if both genes in a pair are recessive ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

All rights reserved. Sex-linked genes: • X-linked inheritance occurs when a mutated gene is carried on the X chromosome  More likely to affect males than females  Females have a second X chromosome. . Inc. which is likely to be unchanged  Men do not have a second X chromosome to counteract the effect  Females are still carriers  Examples: hemophilia and fragile-X syndrome ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

All rights reserved. . Genetic Imprinting: occurs when genes have differing effects depending on whether they are inherited from the mother or the father  Polygenetic Inheritance: characteristics that are determined by the interaction of many different genes • Most characteristics are determined in this manner ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc.

. X chromosome constricted or breaks off • Turner syndrome: females born with XO rather than XX. sometimes causing infertility • XYY syndrome: males with extra Y chromosome ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved. Inc. Chromosome abnormalities usually involve the sperm and ovum lacking a normal set of 23 chromosomes • Down syndrome: caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21  Sex-linked abnormalities involve the presence of an extra X or Y chromosome (or the absence of one) • Klinefelter syndrome: males born with XXY instead of XY • Fragile X syndrome: occurs more often in males than females.

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and Tay-Sachs disease ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. spina bifida. more often found in African Americans • Other abnormalities: cystic fibrosis. Gene-linked abnormalities are caused by harmful genes • PKU: inability to metabolize phenylalanine • Sickle-cell anemia: impaired red blood cells die more quickly. Inc. diabetes. . Huntington disease. All rights reserved.

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Inc. but most do not display a disorder  Today. knowledge of genetic flaws leads to difficult choices about how to manage such information  Genetic counselors help people make reproductive decisions ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. . Every individual carries DNA variations. All rights reserved. many genetic diseases can be detected prior to and immediately after birth • However.

All rights reserved. . Ultrasound Sonography: high-frequency sound waves used to create a visual representation of fetus’s inner structures  Fetal MRI: magnetic resonance imaging designed to diagnose fetal malformations  Chorionic Villus Sampling: small sample of placenta is removed to detect genetic and chromosomal abnormalities  Amniocentesis: samples amniotic fluid to test for chromosomal or metabolic disorders  Maternal Blood Screening: identifies pregnancies with elevated risk for certain birth defects ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc.

All rights reserved. Infertility: the inability to conceive a child after 12 months of attempting  In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish. Inc. . fertilized egg is transferred to woman’s uterus • Success depends on woman’s age • Increases risk of multiple births  Higher risk of life-threatening problems  Health risks to mother  Possible psychological effects on children ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

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Inc. All rights reserved. . Adoption: an alternative to infertility treatment • Children adopted early in life fare better than children adopted later • Somewhat more likely to experience psychological and school-related problems than non-adopted children • No differences in antisocial behavior or self-esteem • Vast majority of adopted children adjust effectively. and most parents are satisfied with their decision to adopt ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

 Behavior Genetics: seeks to discover the influence of heredity and environment on individual differences in human traits and development • Twin studies: compare identical (monozygotic) twins with fraternal (dizygotic) twins • Adoption studies: compare the characteristics of adopted children with their adoptive parents and their biological parents  May also compare adopted and biological siblings ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc. All rights reserved. .

. All rights reserved. Inc. Heredity – Environment Correlations: individuals’ genes may influence the types of environments to which they are exposed ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Inc. . Shared environmental experiences: siblings’ common experiences  Non-shared environmental experiences: a child’s unique experiences. All rights reserved. both within and outside the family • Shared environment accounts for little of the variation in children’s personality or interest • Heredity influences the non-shared environments through heredity–environment correlations ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Inc. Epigenetic view: development is an ongoing. . bi-directional interchange between heredity and environment • Heredity and environment operate together ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.

and the interaction of heredity and environment is extensive  Much needs to be learned about specific ways in which environment and genetics interact to influence development ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies. . Inc. The relative contributions of heredity and environment are not additive  Complex behaviors have some genetic loading that gives people a propensity for a particular developmental path  Our environment is complex. All rights reserved.