Developmental Psychology of the Lifespan
1. Describe how the growth in the corpus callosum allows children to increase their capabilities.
The human brain is made up of two separate hemispheres. The right hemisphere is generally thought of as the creative side while the left hemisphere is thought to be the logical side. Both sides must work together to create a fully functional person. The communication channel between the two halves is known as the corpus callosum.
The corpus callosum is made up of 250-800 million fibers that connect the two halves of the brain together and coordinates the processing between them (Berger, 2005, p. 200). It is ...view middle of the document...
It allows the 2-year old that bumps into everything and falls a lot to mature into the 5-year old that can ride a tricycle (or even a bicycle) and climb everything in sight. Without the coordinated efforts of both sides of the brain, complex tasks like these would be nearly impossible.
Chapter 9 Assignment:
2. Explain the term "fast mapping.”
Have you ever noticed how quickly a child can pick up new words? How about that single time you slipped and said a naughty word in front of your child? I bet they started using it almost immediately and almost always inappropriately. The child “learned” the word so easily because of fast mapping. Fast mapping is the process children use to quickly “chart” new words into their vocabulary (Berger, 2005).
This “charting” of words is a lot like building a database on a computer. The brain tags new words with labels and places them into categories. This process makes it easy to learn new types of animals if you already know of a similar animal. For instance, shark is easier to remember if the child already knows what fish are. This process of charting words means that children need only hear a word once and they can add it to their vocabulary. This does not mean that they fully understand the meaning of the word or how to properly use it. A child that has just learned “shark” might refer to all large fish as “sharks” until taught differently and more words are learned.
Children learn new words at a phenomenal rate. Remember that “naughty” word I asked about earlier? Well, research conducted by Justin Halberda of Harvard University has suggested that it only takes a three second exposure to a new word for a child to pick it up (Two-Year-Olds Fast- mapping of Novel Labels: How Fast is Fast?, 2003). This helps explain why estimates place vocabulary expansion in two to six year olds at roughly ten to twelve words per day. Not everyone agrees on the rate of expansion but everyone does agree that the largest expansion occurs before age seven (Berger, 2005). So, the best lesson an adult can learn from this is to be mindful of what you say in front of children!
Chapter 10 Assignment:
1. Describe the significance of emotional regulation