Web Exercises

LO 4.1 Discuss neural development from infancy through older adulthood, including the role of experience.

Directions: This activity can be done individually or in small groups. Each group will be assigned a birthdate for a baby:

Group 1--Birthdate today

Group 2--Birthdate last month

Group 3--Birthdate 2 months ago

Group 4--Birthdate 5 months ago

Group 5--Birthdate 6 months ago

Group 6--Birthdate 7 months ago

Group 7--Birthdate 8 months ago

Group 8--Birthdate 9 months ago

Group 9--Birthdate 10 months ago

Continue assigning groups until the last group’s birthdate is 23 months ago.

As infants’ and toddlers’ brains experience new neural connections, the children begin to reach new milestones in motor development. Download the app My Baby Today. When you sign up, use the birthdate provided to your group. Explore the app.

  1. What did you learn about your baby’s experiences, neural development, visual and auditory capacities, intermodal perception, and motor development milestones? Make connections between what you learn reading Chapter 4 and what you learn exploring the app.
  2. Create a 10-slide PowerPoint presentation to upload to your class’s Blackboard (or similar program) or to share with your class. If you upload to Blackboard, view and respond to at least 3 of your classmates’ presentations.
  3. When viewing your classmates’ PowerPoint presentations, which age groups did you choose to read? Why? What did you learn?


Web Exercise #2: Brain Plasticity

LO 4.1 Discuss neural development from infancy through older adulthood, including the role of experience.

The human brain has the incredible power to re-wire itself in some cases. Although we know the brain is plastic, there is much more we do not know about brain plasticity. In this video, you will watch a TED talk presented by Michael Merzenich, a leading researcher on brain plasticity and answer the following questions. https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_merzenich_on_the_elastic_brain?language=en

  1. Describe what we know about brain plasticity in childhood.
  2. What does this talk add to our knowledge?
  3. What support does the speaker offer regarding plasticity in adulthood?
  4. What are the implications for our understanding of plasticity in childhood?


Web Exercise #3: The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain

LO 4.1 Discuss neural development from infancy through older adulthood, including the role of experience.

Chapter 11 discusses brain development in adolescence and its influence on behavior. Often, adolescents engage in risk taking behavior and have difficulty inhibiting behaviors. In this exercise, you will watch a TED talk by Jane Blakemore about the adolescent brain and its influence on these behaviors. https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_jayne_blakemore_the_mysterious_workings_of_the_adolescent_brain?language=en

  1. What have fMRIs taught researchers about the adolescent brain?
  2. What tasks do participants do in Jane Blakemore’s research?
  3. What have been the results of Jane Blakemore’s research?
  4. Why is this video important? What did you learn?
  5. What are two questions you would ask Jane Blakemore if you could talk to her?


Web Exercise #4: The Newborn’s Perceptual Capacities

LO 4.3 Describe age-related changes in vision, hearing, and other senses.

The textbook discusses infants’ physical capacities. One of these is the baby’s ability to hear in the womb. The following web page provides more detail about this ability: http://www.maternal-and-early-years.org.uk/hearing-and-listening-in-the-womb

Read the information provided on the web page. Then look up one of the research studies cited on the page. Answer the following questions:

  1. What was the study about?
  2. Why was the study important?
  3. What was the hypothesis?
  4. Who were the participants? How old were they? What other information is given?
  5. What was the procedure?
  6. What were the results of this study?
  7. How does this study benefit the field of psychology?