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NIU PSYC 324 - Exam 1 Study Guide

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PSYC 324 1st EditionExam# 1 Study Guide Lectures: 1 - 8Lecture 1(January 13)What are the important theories of how genes and the environment interact and impact development?The nativist theory states that we have innate characteristics that are genetically determined and present at birth, and are subject to maturational change; the environment doesn’t play a significant role in development. The empiricist theory states that development is not predetermined by genetics, but the environment influences learning and development as well. Finally, the interactionist theory argues that genes and the environment influence each other; for example, the activeness of PKU (Phenylketonuria) in a patient is determined by the presence/absence of PKU in combination with a diet with or without milk and meat, meaning theperson’s genes and environment play a part.What is a range of reaction?A range of reactionsimply means that different people are affected by different environments. One phenomenon that occurs is canalization, meaning that as development progresses, the range of possible outcomes narrows.Lecture 2 (January 15) What are the terms for a baby before it is born?When a sperm penetrates an ovum, it becomes a zygote during the first two weeks of life (the germinal period) until it implants in the uterine wall. Once it does this, the zygote becomes an embryo as it enters into the embryonic period from the first 2-8 weeks of life. After this period, the embryo becomes a fetus for the fetal period, which lasts until the baby is born.What are teratogens and how do they influence development?A teratogen is a medication, toxin, or other environmental influence that disrupts development prenatally. They are the most dangerous during the embryonic period, during whichthe formation of the central nervous system and heart, among other vital organs, occurs. They can cause deformities and abnormalities by cutting into the otherwise normal development of an embryo or fetus.What are sensitive periods in development?Konrad Lorenz discovered that baby ducks will imprint on, or attach themselves to, the first figure they see and are around during the first hours of life, even if it was Konrad himself and not a mother duck. This is an example of a sensitive or critical period, because there is a short time frame for some level of development or attachment to occur, and past that time frame there is not much to be done to change what occurred during that time frame.What are the Passive, Evocative & Active influences on development?Passive genetic-environmental interaction occurs when parents with certain genetic predispositions may encourage the expression of these tendencies in their children. When the individual influences the environment by behaving to evoke certain environmental responses, it is known as an evocative influence, because the individual is evoking a response from the environment. Finally, an active influence occurs when an individual’s genes encourage them to seek out experiences compatible with their inherited tendencies.What does it mean to have bidirectional influence?This theory states that genetic activity and the nervous system influence each other, and the nervous system and behavior influence each otherLecture 3 (January 20)What is the difference between a premature birth and a low birth weight?An infant is considered premature if it is born 37 weeks after conception or earlier. These infants may still have a normal birth weight. An infant is considered low birth weight (LBW) if itweighs less than 5.5 pounds.What are the consequences of maternal smoking? alcohol consumption?narcotic use?Maternal smoking can cause LBW, small size, facial abnormalities and inattentiveness/low responsiveness; maternal alcohol consumption can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is marked by retarded growth (pre- and postnatal), facial abnormalities, small brain size, low intelligence, irritability and hyperactivity. If a mother is addicted to drugs such as heroin or cocaine, the child will also be addicted and then go through withdrawal symptoms upon being born; these babies also have a high risk of being born premature or with a low birth weight, and if the addiction is severe enough, the infant may day within days.Define neural migration, synaptogenesis, neuronal death and synaptic pruning.1. Neural migration: the movement of neurons within the brain that ensures that all brain areas have a sufficient number of neural connections2. Synaptogenesis: the formation of synapses, or specialized sites of intercellular communication where information is exchanged between nerve cells3. Neuronal death: the death of some neurons that surround newly formed synaptic connections among other neurons4. Synaptic pruning: the brain’s disposal of the axons and dendrites of a neuron that is not often stimulatedWhat are experience-expectant and experience-dependent processes? How do they affect the brain’s plasticity?Experience-expectant processes are experiences that are universal, meaning they are experienced by everyone, such as sounds of language, nutrition, touch, etc. Experience-dependent processes are “unique to individuals—experiences encountered in particular families, communities, and cultures” (150). These influence the brain, which at this age has a quality known as plasticity, which means it has the “capacity to respond and adapt to input from the external environment” (150).Lecture 4 (January 22)What are some procedures that are used to study infants?Psychologists use habituation (decline in responding to the same stimulation) and dishabituation (when you notice something after becoming habituated to it) to study an infant’s senses. Sometimes, they also need to use conditioning (associating a behavior with a reward or response to increase the frequency of the behavior) to help the infant habituate in order to study some senses, like hearing.What are some aspects of face discrimination?Visual acuity is how clearly one can see, or the sharpness of what one can see, and is usedto help infants identify individuals. Face perception or recognition is used to help an infant identify faces in general as well as individual faces. Contrast sensitivity is how well an infant candistinguish an image based on the contrast of the surrounding colors; infants need high contrast to see an image.What is visual scanning? Where do infants look?When looking at a face, an infant will use visual scanning to


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