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Monday, 15 October 2012 09:00

Powerpoint: Chapter 6

Written by David Sheppard
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n  The First Two Years: Cognitive Development

n  Slides prepared by Kate Byerwalter, Ph.D., Grand Rapids Community College

n  What is “cognition”?

Cognition refers to thinking, including language, learning, memory, and intelligence.

Jean Piaget (born 1896) was a pioneer in studying cognitive development in humans.

n  More recent research has both validated and extended Piaget’s ideas about infant’s cognitive abilities.

n  Sensorimotor Intelligence

n  Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development, characterized by learning through senses and motor actions.

n  Adaptation to New Ideas Includes:

Assimilation: taking new information in by incorporating it into previous “schemas” (categories)

¨  Example: A red ball bounces like a blue ball.

Accommodation: requires an adjustment of previous schemas upon new information

¨  Example: A red tomato does NOT bounce like a red ball!

n  Stages One and Two of Sensorimotor Intelligence

Stage One: the stage of reflexes

Stage Two: first acquired adaptations

¨  Example: An infant sucks a bottle differently than the mother’s nipple.

Primary circular reactions: repetitive actions with the infant’s own body

¨  Stages Three and Four of Sensorimotor Intelligence

Stage Three: interaction with objects/others

¨  Example: infant smiles when they shake a rattle (secondary circular reaction).

Stage Four: new adaptations and anticipation

¨  The infant shows goal-directed behavior

¨  Object permanence begins

Quiz: Which stage is this?

n  Stage Five of Sensorimotor Intelligence

Stage Five: new means through active experimentation

¨  Piaget called infants in this stage “little scientists” because of their need for experimentation.

¨  Example: An infant drops her spoon to see what will happen.

n  Stage Six of Sensorimotor Intelligence

Stage Six: new means through mental combinations

¨  Infants can think before taking action, for example, wondering “should I really pull that cat’s tail.”

¨  Deferred imitation: infants can copy the behavior of others, even days later

Quiz: This is an example of what?

n  Piaget and Research Methods

n  Advanced research tools (i.e., habituationand fMRI), have shown that aspects of Piaget’s sensorimotor intelligence actually occur earlier for most infants than Piaget predicted.

n  These findings do not negate Piaget’s work, only update it.

n  What is habituation?

Habituation is the process of getting used to (i.e., bored with) a stimulus after repeated exposure.

n  An infant shows it by looking away.

n  If a new object appears and the infant reacts (change in heart rate, sucking), it is assumed he recognizes the object as something different.

n  Information Processing Theory

Information processing theory focuses on the step-by-step description of the mechanisms of human thought at any age.

n  Research on memory and “affordances” stem from this theory.

n  Visual Cliff

n  The visual cliff is an apparatus to measure depth perception.

n  Infants are interested in “crossing” the cliff until about 8 months, after they have had experience falling.

n  The cliff “affords” danger for older infants.

n  Visual Cliff

n  Movement and People

n  Infants have dynamic perception, focused on movement and change.

n  They have a people preference from the first days of life!

¨  Examples: listen to voices, stare at faces, are soothed by touch

Make it Real: Memory

What’s your prediction: Can infants remember anything? For how long? What about a 1 or 2 year old?

What is your earliest memory?

n  Memory

n  Even very young infants (3 months) can remember IF:

¨  Experimental conditions are “real life”

¨  Motivation is high

¨  Special measures aid memory retrieval (repetition and reminders)

Example: Rovee-Collier’s mobile experiment

n  Mobiles and Memories

n  Memory (cont.)

n  Deferred imitation begins by 9 months, becoming more elaborate with age.

¨  Example: A young infant imitates hitting the dog, a behavior modeled by an older sibling.

n  Implicit memory (for routines) develops sooner than explicit memory (for facts).

n  First noises

n  Infants are noisy!

¨  They coo, squeal, cry, yell, grunt, gurgle

n  Infants prefer child-directed speech

¨  High-pitched, simplified, repetitive speech of adults

n  Babbling

Babbling is repeating certain syllables (e.g., da-da-da).

n  All babies babble, even deaf babies (although later and less frequently).

n  Babbling is a way to communicate.

n  First Words

First words usually appear around 1 year.

n  They are often familiar nouns.

¨  (Have you ever heard of an infant’s first word being “stapler”?)

n  The Language Explosion

n  The naming explosion refers to a language spurt once an infant begins talking.

n  Culture shapes which words appear first.

n  Sentences

n  A holophrase is a single word that expresses an entire thought (e.g., “juice”).

Two-word sentences appear around 21 months, and remarkably, follow proper grammar.

¨  Example: “more juice”, not “juice more”

Make it Real: Language

What fun sentences or words (good ones or mistakes) have you heard a young child make?

Example: “I catched the ball.”

n  Theories of Language Learning

n  There are 3 theories of how infants learn language:

¨  They are taught (view of B. F. Skinner)

¨  They teach themselves (view of Noam Chomsky)

¨  Social impulses foster learning

n  Theory One: Infants Are Taught

B. F. Skinner argued that infants learn language by:

¨  Associating objects with words heard often

¨  Reinforcement and praise for correct words

¨  Correction of incorrect words

n  Support for Theory One

n  Careful research by Hart and Risley (1995) has demonstrated that infants of parents who spoke more words had superior language development.

n  Theory Two: Infants Teach Themselves

Noam Chomsky argued that language is far too complex to be learned through step-by-step conditioning.

¨  Infants make up words they have never heard before (e.g., “runned”).

n  He believed a language acquisition device (LAD) exists only in humans.

n  Theory Three: Social Impulses Foster Infant Language

n  This theory argues that the social desire to communicate drives infants to learn language.

¨  Example: Upon hearing a new word, an infant looks to where the adult is looking before assuming an association between the word and object.

n  A Hybrid Theory

n  An emergentist coalition combines aspects of several theories.

n  Different theories may apply at different ages.

n  Culture plays a role in language learning.

n  How about a bedtime story?

n  A Note for Caregivers

n  Engaging a young infant in the wonder of language, through reading, talking, singing, etc., is giving that infant an amazing gift. He or she will have a head start on learning language and developing a strong vocabulary!


Last modified on Monday, 15 October 2012 09:03