Slide 1
6
Cognitive Development in
Infancy
John W. Santrock
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Slide 2
Cognitive Development In
Infancy
• What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
• How Do Infants Learn, Remember, and Conceptualize?
• How Are Individual Differences in Infant Intelligence
Assessed and Do These Assessments Predict
Intelligence?
• What Are Some Early Environmental Influences on
Cognitive Development?
• What Is the Nature of Language and How Does It
Develop in Infancy?
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
Slide 3
Images of Children
• The stories of Laurent, Lucienne, and
Jacqueline
– Piaget’s children are the “models” for his
theory
– Meticulous observations on cognitive
development
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
Slide 4
Cognitive Processes
• Adaptation: involves adjusting to
new environmental demands
– We build mental structures to help us
adapt
– Children actively construct their own
cognitive worlds
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
Slide 5
Cognitive Processes
• Schemes: mental representations or
actions that organize knowledge
•
– Assimilation: incorporating new
information into existing schemes
– Accommodation: adjusting schemes to
fit new information and experiences
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
Slide 6
Cognitive Processes
• Organization – grouping isolated
behaviors and thoughts into higher-order
system
– Equilibrium – mechanism for shifting from
one level of thought to another
– Disequilibrium – result of cognitive conflict
– Cognition: qualitatively different in each
stage of development
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
Slide 7
Sensorimotor Stage
• First of Piaget’s stages
– Lasts from birth to about 2 years of age
– Infants construct understanding of the
world by coordinating sensory experiences
with physical, motoric actions; use of
symbols
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Sensorimotor Substages
Slide 8
Substage
Age
Description
Birth - 1 Coordinates sensations, actions
Simple reflexes
month
First habits,
1 - 4 Coordination of sensations,
primary circular
months habits, and primary circular
reactions
reactions; body still main focus
Secondary
4 - 8 More object-oriented, repeats
circular reactions months interesting/ pleasurable acts
Coordination of
8 - 12 Coordination of schemes/touch/
secondary
months vision, eye-hand coordination,
circular reactions
intentional acts
Tertiary circular
12 - 18 Intrigued by properties of and
reactions, novelty months things done with objects,
and curiosity
experiments with new behaviors
Internalization of 18 - 24 Ability to use primitive symbols,
schemes
months form lasting mental images
Figure 6.1
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
Slide 9
Understanding
Physical Reality
• Object Permanence
– Understanding that objects and events
continue to exist even when they cannot be
seen, heard, or touched
– One of infant’s most important
achievements, assessed by violation of
expectations
– Understanding of causality
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Slide 10
Object Permanence
(a)
(b)
Fig. 6.2
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Infant’s Understanding of Causality
Slide 11
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What Is Piaget’s Theory of Infant Development?
Slide 12
Evaluating Piaget’s
Sensorimotor Stage
• New way of looking at infants
• Piaget’s views need modification; his
explanations of cause are debated
– Object permanence occurs earlier
– Distinguishing objects by 3 to 4 months
– A-not-B error: infant selects familiar hiding
place (A) rather than new hiding place (B)
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Do Infants Learn, Remember, and Conceptualize?
Slide 13
Conditioning
• Consequences of behavior produce
– Rovee-Collier experiment on memory
– Classical conditioning: pairing of new
stimulus to conditioned response
– Operant conditioning: consequences of
behavior affect probability of that behavior
reoccurring
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Do Infants Learn, Remember, and Conceptualize?
Slide 14
Attention
• Focusing of mental resources on select
information; helps cognitive processing
– Habituation: decreased responsiveness to
stimulus after repeated presentations
– Dishabituation: habituated response
recovered after a change in stimulation
– “Short lookers” versus “long lookers”
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Do Infants Learn, Remember, and Conceptualize?
Slide 15
Attention
• Joint attention – individuals focus on
same object or event
– Requires
• Ability to track another’s behavior
• One person directing another’s attention
• Reciprocal interaction
– Important to caregiver-infant interactions
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Do Infants Learn, Remember, and Conceptualize?
Slide 16
Memory
• Retention of information over time
– Attention is important for encoding
– Implicit memory: recall is automatic
– Explicit memory: recall is conscious effort
– Infantile or childhood amnesia
• Most remember little from first 3 years
• Immaturity of prefrontal lobe
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Do Infants Learn, Remember, and Conceptualize?
Slide 17
Imitation
• Meltzoff – Infant can imitate facial expression
within a few days after birth; others disagree
• Deferred imitation: imitate actions seen
earlier; use of unusual gestures (extending
arm, pointing index finger, etc.)
– Piaget: begins about 18 months of age
– Meltzoff: begins much earlier than 18 months
– Mirror neurons play role in infant imitation
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Do Infants Learn, Remember, and Conceptualize?
Slide 18
Concept Formation
and Categorization
• Categories – grouping objects, events,
characteristics by common features
• Concepts – ideas on what categories
represent
– Conceptual categories: perceptual
variability found in 7- to 9-month-old infants
– Object-examination test
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Are Individual Differences in Infant Intelligence Assessed and Do They Predict IQ?
Slide 19
Infant Intelligence
• Infant testing movement grew
• Gesell: distinguish abnormal babies for
adoption agencies
– Developmental quotient (DQ): overall
developmental score, combines domains
•
•
•
•
Motor
Language
Adaptive
Personal-social
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Are Individual Differences in Infant Intelligence Assessed and Do They Predict IQ?
Slide 20
Bayley Scales of Infant
Development
• Widely used in assessment of infant
development; has three components:
– Mental scale; auditory and visual attention
– Motor scale
– Infant behavior profile
• Assesses infant, predicts later behavior
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Are Individual Differences in Infant Intelligence Assessed and Do They Predict IQ?
Slide 21
Infant Intelligence
• Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence
– Increased use; focus on infant ability to
process information
• Encoding attributes of objects
• Detecting object similarities and differences
• Forming and retrieving mental representations
– Similar infant performances across cultures
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Are Individual Differences in Infant Intelligence Assessed and Do They Predict IQ?
Slide 22
Predicting Intelligence
• Older children – IQ tests focus on verbal
ability
• Infants – IQ tests focus on perceptualmotor development and social behavior
– Gesell and Bayley scales: poor predictors
– Fagan: good correlation with later IQ tests
– Habituation and dishabituation linked to IQ
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Are Some Early Environmental Influences on Cognitive Development?
Slide 23
Nutrition
• Affects physical development
• Malnutrition limits cognitive development
• Early nutritional supplements, proteins
and calories, have positive long-term
effects
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Are Some Early Environmental Influences on Cognitive Development?
Slide 24
Poverty
• Positive effects sought by manipulating
children’s early environments
– Emphasis on prevention, not remediation
– Early intervention programs vary
– Many low-income parents cannot provide
intellectually stimulating environment
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Slide 25
Children retained in grades (percent)
60
Early
Intervention
and
Retention
in School
50
40
30
20
10
0
Control
Intervention
Treatment Group
Fig. 6.9
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Are Some Early Environmental Influences on Cognitive Development?
Slide 26
Poverty
• Best intervention programs are
– Long lasting
– Time-intensive
– Providing direct educational benefits
• Often in educational context
• Does not rely solely on parental training
– Comprehensive and multidimensional
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 27
Defining Language
• Language: form of communication
(verbal, written, gestures) based on
system of symbols; highly organized
• Infinite generativity: ability to produce
endless number of meaningful
sentences using finite set of words and
rules
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 28
Language’s Rule Systems
• Five systems of rules
– Phonology
• Sound system of language
• Basis and sequences for sets of words
• Phoneme: smallest unit of sound
– Morphology
• Units of meaning in word formation
• Morpheme: smallest unit of meaning
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 29
Language’s Rule Systems
• Syntax
– Ways words combine to form acceptable
phrases and sentences
• Semantics
– Meanings of words and sentences
• Pragmatics
– Appropriate use of language in context
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 30
How Language Develops
• Babbling and gestures
•
– Crying: present at birth, signals distress
– Cooing: begins about 1 to 2 months
– Babbling: occurs in middle of first year,
strings of consonant-vowel combinations
– Gestures: begins about 8 to 12 months;
about same for hearing and deaf children
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 31
Recognizing Language
Sounds
• Birth to 6 months
– “Citizens of the Word”: recognize most
sound changes in any language
• After 6 months, learn own language
– Gradually lose ability to recognize sound
changes in other languages
• 8 to 9 months: detect word boundaries
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 32
First Words
• First words at 10 to 15 months
– First words name important people, familiar
animals and objects, body parts, greetings
– Infants understand about 50 words at 13
months (receptive vocabulary) but unable
to say them until about 18 months (spoken
vocabulary)
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Variation in Language Milestones
Slide 33
27
24
21
18
15
12
9
First words
Vocabulary spurt
Language Milestone
Fig. 6.12
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What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 34
Language Growth
• Vocabulary spurt: 18 months to 2 years
– 50 words at 18 mos, 200 words at 2 years
– Overextension: applying words too broadly
– Underextension: applying word too narrowly
• Two-Word Utterances
– Telegraphic speech: use of short and
precise words without grammatical markers
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 35
Biological and
Environmental Influences
• Biological
– Evolution of CNS and vocal apparatus
– Human language about 100,000 years old
– Children’s language acquisition similar all
over the world (biological basis)
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 36
Biological and
Environmental Influences
• Brain’s Role in Language
– Aphasia—Brain damage that involves a
loss of ability to use words
– Broca’s area—Brain’s left frontal lobe that
directs the muscle movements involved in
speech production
– Wernicke’s area—Brain’s left hemisphere;
involved in language comprehension
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Slide 37
Broca’s Area and Wernicke’s Area
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 38
Language Acquisition
Device (LAD)
• Chomsky
– Humans biologically prewired for language
– Children born with LAD; biological ability
to detect features and rules of language
– Theoretical; not physical part of brain
– Supporters cite uniformity of language
milestones across languages and cultures
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 39
Environmental Influences
• Behaviorists view cannot explain
– Creation of novel sentences
– Learning of a native language syntax
without reinforcements
• Extensive research on environment
– Environment influences language skills
– Importance of social context: ‘Wild Boy of
Aveyron’ and ‘Genie’
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 40
Environmental Influences
• Tomasello – interaction view
– Language learned in specific contexts
– In early development: children use social
skills to acquire language
– Child’s vocabulary linked to family’s
socioeconomic status
• Type of talk parents direct to child
• Elaborated or restrictive vocabularies
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 41
Environmental Influences
on Language
• Child-directed speech
– Spoken in higher pitch than normal with
simple words and sentences
– Holds attention, maintains communication
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 42
Environmental Influences
• Other strategies used naturally:
– Recasting: rephrasing what child says
– Expanding: sophisticated restating of
what the child says
– Labeling: assigning, identifying objects
by name
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 43
How Parents Can Facilitate
Infants’ Language Development
• Baron’s Growing Up With Language
• Infants
• Toddlers
– Be active
conversational partner
– Talk as if infant
understands what is
being said
– Use a comfortable
language style
– Continue being active
conversational partner
– Remember to listen
– Use comfortable and
appropriate styles
– Be flexible with child
– Avoid stereotypes
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Slide 44
800
Professional
600
400
Welfare
200
0
10
14
18
22
26
30
34
Language
Input in
Professional
and Welfare
Families and
Young
Children’s
Vocabulary
Development
38
Age of children (months)
Fig. 6.16 (a)
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Slide 45
1200
1000
Professional
800
600
400
Welfare
200
0
10
14
18
22
26
30
34
Language
Input in
Professional
and Welfare
Families and
Young
Children’s
Vocabulary
Development
38
Age of children (months)
Fig. 6.16 (b)
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Is The Nature of Language and How Does It Develop in Infancy?
Slide 46
Interactionist View
of Language Development
• Biology and sociocultural experiences
contribute to language development
• Parents and teachers construct LASS—
language acquisition support system
• Children acquire native language
without explicit teaching
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Slide 47
6
The End
© 2009The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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