Week 2: Prenatal Development

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Natural Selection
- evolutionary process by which those individuals of a species that are best adapted are the ones, that survive and reproduce - survivors are better adapted to their world than are the non-survivors (Brooker, 2011)
Adaptive Behavior
is a behavior that promotes an organism's survival in the natural habitat (Johnson & Loslos, 2010).
Evolutionary Psychology
- emphasizes the importance of adaptation, reproduction, and "survival of the fittest" in shaping behavior - "fit" in this sense refers to the ability to bear offspring that survive long enough to bear offspring of their own - evolution shapes our physical features, such as body shape and height - influences how we make decisions, how aggressive we are, our fears, and our mating patterns
David Buss
has been especially influential in stimulating new interest in how evolution can explain human behavior.
Evolution Developmental Psychology
- extended childhood period evolved because humans require time to develop a large brain and learn the complexity of human societies - psychological mechanisms are domain-specific; e.g. information processing - evolved mechanisms are not always adaptive in contempart society
Paul Balts
"the benefits conferred by evolutionary selection decrease with age"
Albert Bandura
acknowledges the important influence of evolution on human adaptation.
Bidirectional View
environmental and biological conditions influence each other.
Steven Jay Gould
"In most domains of human functioning biology allows a broad range of cultural possibilities"
- are thread-like structures made up of deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA - come in 23 pairs, one member of each pair coming from each parent
complex molecule with a double helix shape, like a spiral staircase and contains genetic information.
the units of hereditary information, are short segments of DNA. They direct cells to reproduce themselves and to assemble proteins.
are the building blocks of cells as well as the regulators that direct the body's processes.
- the cell's nucleus including the chromosomes duplicates itself and the cell divides - two new cells are formed, each containing the same DNA as the original cell, arranged in the same 23 pairs of chromosomes
- a cell of the testes or ovaries duplicates its chromosomes but then divides twice, thus forming four cells, each of which has only half of the genetic material of the parent cell - by the end of meiosis, each egg or sperm has 23 unpaired chromosomes
an egg and a sperm fuse to create a single cell, called a zygote.
- the 23 unpaired chromosomes from the egg and the 23 unpaired chromosomes from the sperm combine to form one set of 23 paired chromosomes - one chromosome of each pair from the mother's egg and the other from the father's sperm.Mutated gene
Identical twins
- monozygotic twins - develop from a single zygote that splits into two genetically identical replicas, each of which becomes a person
Fraternal twins
- dizygotic twins - develop from separate eggs and separate sperm, making them genetically no more similar than ordinary siblings
Mutated Gene
a permanently altered segment of DNA, a mistake by cellular machinery, or damage from an environmental agent such as radiation.
made up of all of a person's genetic material.
consists of observable characteristics including physical characteristics (such as height, weight, and hair color) and psychological characteristics (such as personality and intelligence).
Dominant-Recessive Genes Principle
- in some cases, one gene of a pair always exerts its effects; it is dominant, overriding the potential influence of the other gene, called the recessive gene - a recessive gene exerts its influence only if the two genes of a pair are both recessive
X-linked Inheritance
when a mutated gene is carried on the X chromosome.
individuals (gender) who mostly have X-linked diseases because they only have one X chromosome.
individuals (gender) that are known as "carriers" and they usually do not show any signs of the X-linked disease.
diseases related to 23 chromosomes
Genetic Imprinting
occurs when the expression of a gene has different effects depending on whether the mother or the father passed on the gene.
Polygenic Inheritance
- most are determined by the interaction of many different genes - gene-gene interaction is increasingly used to describe studies that focus on the interdependence of two or more genes in influencing characteristics, behavior, diseases, and development
Chromosomal Abnormalities
occurs when a gamete is formed and the male’s sperm and/or the female's ovum do not have their normal set of 23 chromosomes.
Down Syndrome
- caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21 - round face, a flattened skull, an extra fold of skin over the eyelids, a protruding tongue, short limbs, and retardation of motor and mental abilities
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Klinefelter's Syndrome
- genetic disorder in which males have an extra X chromosome, making them XXY instead of XY - undeveloped testes, and they usually have enlarged breasts and become tall
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Fragile X Syndrome
- results from an abnormality in the X chromosome, which becomes constricted and often breaks - mental deficiency often is an outcome, but it may take the form of mental retardation, a learning disability, or a short attention span - occurs more frequently in males than in females, possibly because the second X chromosome in females negates the effects of the other abnormal X chromosome
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Turner Syndrome
- chromosomal disorder in females in which either an X chromosome is missing, making the person XO instead of XX, or part of one X chromosome is deleted - short in stature and have webbed neck, they might be infertile and have difficulty in mathematics, but their verbal ability is often quite good
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XYY Syndrome
chromosomal disorder in which the male has an extra Y chromosome.
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Gene-linked Abnormalities
- abnormalities produced by harmful genes - more than 7,000 genetic disorder
- genetic disorder in which the individual cannot properly metabolize phenylalanine, an amino acid - results from a recessive gene and occurs about once in every 10,000 to 20,000 live births - excess phenylalanine builds up in the child, producing mental retardation and hyperactivity - occurs primarily in whites - treated by a diet that prevents an excess accumulation of phenylalanine - heredity-environment interaction (the presence of a genetic defect does not inevitably lead to the development of the disorder if the individual develops in the right environment)
Sickle Cell Anemia
- genetic disorder that impair the body's red blood cells - recessive gene causes the RBC to become a hook-shaped "sickle" - cannot carry oxygen properly and dies quickly - occurs most often in African Americans
- prolonged bleeding or oozing following an injury, surgery, or having a tooth pulled - X-linked recessive pattern
Hemophilia A
- also known as classic hemophilia or factor VIII deficiency - is the most common type of the condition; 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 5,000 males worldwide are born with this disorder
Hemophilia B
- also known as Christmas disease or factor IX deficiency - occurs in approximately 1 in 20,000 newborn males worldwide
Tay Sach's Disease
- rare inherited disorder that progressively destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord - infants with this disorder typically appear normal until the age of 3 to 6 months, when their development slows and muscles used for movement weaken - affected infants lose motor skills such as turning over, sitting, and crawling - also develop an exaggerated startle reaction to loud noises - children with Tay-Sachs disease experience seizures, vision and hearing loss, intellectual disability, and paralysis - mutations in the HEXA gene - autosomal recessive pattern
- parental medical procedure in which high-frequency sound waves are directed into the pregnant woman's abdomen - the echo from the sounds is transformed into a visual representation of the fetus' inner structures - no risk to the woman or fetus in this test
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- uses a powerful magnet and radio images to generate detailed images of the body's organs and structures - can provide more detailed images than ultrasound - detect better than sonography such as certain central nervous system, chest, gastrointestinal, genital/urinary, and placental abnormalities
Chorionic Villus Sampling
- prenatal medical procedure in which a small sample of the placenta (the vascular organ that links the fetus to the mother's uterus) is removed - diagnosis takes about 10 days - a small risk of limb deformity when used - done at 10th to 12th weeks of pregnancy
- prenatal medical procedure in which a sample of amniotic fluid is withdrawn by syringe and tested for chromosomal or metabolic disorders - done at 15th and 18th weeks of pregnancy - may take two weeks for enough cells to grow and test results to be obtained - brings a small risk of miscarriage: about 1 woman in every 200 to 300 miscarries after this procedure
Maternal Blood Screening
- identifies pregnancies that have an elevated risk for birth defects such as spina bifida and down syndrome - done at 16th and 18th weeks of pregnancy - triple screen because it measures three substances in the mother's blood
Noninvasive Prenatal Diagnosis
- mainly focused on the isolation and examination of fetal cells circulating in the mother's blood and analysis of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma - successfully test for genes inherited from a father that cause cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease
- defined as the inability to conceive a child after 12 months of regular intercourse without contraception - woman may not be ovulating, she may be producing abnormal ova, her fallopian tubes by which ova normally reach the womb may be blocked, or she may have a disease that prevents implantation of the embryo into the uterus - man may produce two few sperm, the sperm may lack motility or her may have a block passageway
In Vitro Fertilization
procedure in which eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish.
the social and legal process by which a parent-child relationship is established between persons unrelated at birth.
Behavior Genetics
- the field that seeks to discover the influence of heredity and environment on individual differences in human traits and development - try to figure out what responsible for the differences among people - that is, to what extent do people differ because of differences in genes, environment, or combination of these - often use either twin or adoption situations
Twin Study
the behavioral similarity of identical twins is compared with the behavioral similarity of fraternal twins.
Adoption Study
investigators seek to discover whether the behavior and psychological characteristics of adopted children are more like those of their adoptive parents, who have provided a home environment, or more like those of their biological parents, who have contributed their herdity.
Heredity Environment Correlations
means that an individual's genes may influence the types of environments to which they are exposed.
Sandra Scarr
- behavior geneticist - described three ways hereditary and environment are correlated
Passive Genotype-Environment Correlations
occur because biological parents, who are genetically related to the child, provide a rearing environment for the child.
Evocative Genotype-Environment Correlations
occur because a child's characteristics elicit certain types of environment.
Active Genotype-Environment Correlations
occur when children seek out environment that they find compatible and stimulating.
refers to finding a setting that is suited to one's abilities.
Robert Plomin
has found that shared environment accounts for little of the variation in children's personality or interest.
Gilbert Gottllieb
emphasizes the epigenetic view, which states that development is the result of an ongoing, bidirectional interchange between heredity and the environment.
Gene X Environment Interaction
the interaction of a specific measured variation in the DNA and a specific measure aspect of the environment.
38-40 weeks
average weeks of pregnancy.
Germinal Period
- the period which takes place in the first 2 weeks after conception - it includes the creation of the fertilized egg (zygote), cell division, and the attachment of the zygote to the uterine wall
inner layer of cells that develop in the germinal period and later develop into the embryo.
outer layer of cell that develops in the germinal period and cells provide nutrition and support and support for the embryo.
attachment of the zygote to the uterine wall takes place about 11-15 days after conception.
Embryonic Period
- the period of prenatal development which occurs 2-8 weeks after conception - during this period, the rate of cell differentiation intensifies, support systems for the cells form, and organs appear
consists of 3 layers of germ cells.
inner layer of cells, which will develop into the digestive and respiratory systems.
middle layer, which will become the circulatory system, bones, muscles, excretory systems, and reproductive system.
outer layer, which will become the nervous system and brain, sensory receptors (ears, nose, eyes), and skin parts (hair and nails),
a bag or envelope that contains a clear fluid in which the developing embryo floats.
Umbilical Cord
containing two arteries and one vein that connects the baby to the placenta.
consists of a disk-shaped group of tissues in which small blood vessels from the mother and offspring intertwine.
organ formation that takes place during the first 2 months of prenatal development.
3rd week after conception
the neural tube that eventually becomes the spinal cord forms.
About 21 days
the eyes begin to appear
24 days
the cells for the heart begin to differentiate.
5 to 6 weeks
there should be a heartbeat heard from the ultrasound.
4th weeks
the urogenital system becomes apparent and arm and leg buds emerge, four chambers of the heart take shape, and blood vessels appear.
5th to 8th week
- arms and legs differentiate further - at this time, the face starts to form but still is not very recognizable - the intestinal tract develops and the facial structures fuse
8 weeks
the developing organisms weighs about 1/30 ounce and is just over 1 inch long.
Fetal Period
- lasting about seven months - is the prenatal period between two months after conception and birth in typical pregnancies
First 3 months of pregnancy
delicate period during pregnancy.
Neural Tube
- forms at about 18-24 days after conception - develops ot of the ectoderm
massive proliferation of new immature neurons begins to take place about the fifth prenatal week and continues throughout the remainder of the prenatal period.
Neuronal Migration
- 6-24 weeks after conception - occurs which involves cells moving outward from their point of origin to their appropriate locations and creating the different levels, structures and regions of the brain.
any agent that can potentially cause a birth defect or negatively alter cognitive and behavioral outcomes.
field of study that investigates the causes of birth defects.
Behavioral Teratology
some exposures to teratogens do not cause physical birth defects but can alter the developing brain and influence cognitive and behavioral functioning.
Dose Genetic Susceptibility Time of Exposure
factors of a teratogen that influences both the severity of the damage to an embryo or fetus and the type of defect
Prescription Drugs
- antibiotics, such as streptomycin and tetracycline; some antidepressants; certain hormones, such as progestin and synthetic estrogen; and accutane - there are only a few drugs that are safe for pregnant woman
Nonprescription Drugs
e.g. diets pills and high dosages of aspiring
Psychoactive Drugs
- drugs that act on the nervous system to alter states of consciousness, modify perceptions, and change moods - include caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
are a cluster of abnormalities and problems that appear in the offspring of mothers who dirnk alcohol heavily during pregnancy.
- identified as a risk factor for the development of ADHD - linked to increased risk of low birth weight in offspring - preterm births. and low birth weights, fetal and neonatal deaths, respiratory problems, sudden infant death syndrome, and cardiovascular problems are common to infants whose mothers who consume this.
- associated with reduced birth weight, length, and head circumference - linked to lower arousal, less effective self regulation, higher excitability, and lower quality of reflexes at 1 month of age - impaired motor development at 2 years of age and a slower rate of growth through 10 years of age - to deficits in behavioral self-regulation - to impaired language development and information processing including attention deficits (especially in sustained attention) in preschool and elementary school children - to increased likelihood of being in a special education program that involves support services
- babies are at risk for a number of problems, including high infant mortatility, low birth weight, and developmental and behavioral problems - memory deficits in children
- difficulties include withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, irritability, abnormal crying, disturbed sleep, and impaired motor control - attention deficits may appear later in development
Incompatible Blood Types
- if the fetus' blood is Rh-positive and the mother's is Rh-negative, the mother's immune system may produce antibodies that will attack the fetus - can result in any number of problems, including miscarriage, or stillbirth, anemia, jaundice, heart defects, brain damage, or death soon after birth
may given to the mother within three days of the first child's birth to prevent her body from making antibodies that will attack any future.
X-ray Radiation
can affect the developing embryo or fetus, especially in the first several weeks after conception.
- german measles - a viral infection
- STD - is more damaging later in prenatal development - four months or more after conception - damage includes eye lesions, which can cause blindness, and skin lesions.
Genital Herpes
about one-third of babies delivered through a birth canal infected with this, die and another one-fourth become brain damaged.
Folic Acid
a lack of this is related to neural tube defects in offspring, such as spina bifida (a defect in the spinal cord)
Prenatal Mercury Exposure
is linked to adverse outcomes, including miscarriage, preterm birth, and lower intelligence.
Prenatal Care
- involves a defined schedule of visits for medical care, which typically included screening for manageable conditions and treatable diseases that can affect the baby or the mother - include comprehensive educational, social, and nutritional services
First Stage of Birth
- longest of the three stages - uterine contractions are 15 to 20 mins apart at the beginning and last up to a minute - contractions cause the woman's cervix to stretch and open - the contractions come closer together, appearing every two to five minutes - contractions dilate the cervix to an opening about 10 cm (4 inches) - lasts an average of 6-12 hours
Second Stage of Birth
- begins when the baby's head starts to move through the cervix and the birth canal - terminated when the baby completely emerges from the mother's body - with each contraction, the mother bears down hard to push the baby out of her body - typically lasts approximately 45 minutes to an hour
Third Stage of Birth
- after birth - at which time the placenta, umbilical cord, and other membranes are detached and expelled - shortest of the three birth stages, lasting only minutes
typically assists women in childbirth.
- caregiver who provides continuous physical, emotional, and educational support for the mother before, during, and after childbirth - remain with the parents throughout labor, assessing and responding to the mother's needs
- is used to relieve pain - include tranquilizers, barbiturates, and narcotics
is used in late first-stage labor and during delivery to block sensation in an area of the body or to block consciousness.
- is a synthetic hormone that is used to stimulate contractions - pitocin is the most widely used type
Natural Childbirth
the method that aims to reduce the mother's pain by decreasing her fear through education about childbirth and by teaching her and her partner to use breathing methods and relaxation techniques during delivery.
Prepared Childbirth
- lamaze method - which includes a special breathing technique to control pushing in the final stages of labor, as well as more detailed education about anatomy and physiology
Breech Position
baby's position in the uterus that causes the buttocks to be the first part to emerge from the vagina.
Cesarean Delivery
baby is removed from the mother's uterus through an incision made in her abdomen.
Apgar Scale
- widely used to asses the health of newborns at one and five minutes after birth - evaluates an infant's heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, body color, and reflex irritability - good at assessing the newborn's ability to respond to the stress of delivery and the new environment - also identifies high-risk infants who need resuscitation
Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale
- performed within 24 to 36 hours after birth used as a sensitive index of neurological competence up to one month - after birth for typical infants and as a measure in many studies of infant development - assesses the newborn's neurological development, reflexes, and reactions to people and objects - sixteen reflexes are assessed, along with reactions animate and inanimate stimuli
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale
- provides another assessment of the newborn's behavior, neurological and stress responses, and regulatory capacities - especially useful for evaluating preterm infants and substance-exposed infants
5.5 pounds
low birth infant weight.
3.5 pounds
very low birth newborn weight.
under 2 pounds
extremely low birth newborn weight.
Preterm Infants
are those born three weeks or more before the pregnancy has reached its full or before the completion of 37 weeks of gestation.
Small for date Infants
- small for gestational age infants - are those whose birth weight is below normal when the length of the pregnancy is considered
Extremely Preterm Infants
are those born less than 28 weeks preterm.
Very Preterm Infants
are those born less than 33 weeks of gestational age.
Kangaroo Care
involves skin-to-skin contact in which the baby, wearing only a diaper, is held upright against the parent's bare chest.
Postpartum Period
the period after childbirth or delivery that lasts for about six weeks or until the mother's body has completed its adjustment and has returned to a nearly pre-pregnant state.
is the process by which the uterus return to its pre-pregnant size five or six weeks after birth.
Postpartum Depression
involves a major depressive episode that typically occurs about four weeks after delivery.
the formation of a connection, especially a physical bone between parents and the newborn in the period shortly after birth.
- helps in contraction of uterus - secretes oxytocin - uterus involution