Chapter 04 Infancy

Chapter 4

How do the infant’s body and weight change in the first year? What are the cephalocaudal principle and the proximodistal principle?

Be able to identify these parts of a neuron: cell body, dendrites, axon, and axon terminal. What is a synapse? What is myelin?

How many neurons are in an infant brain? What are the two things that lead to the brain’s growth in infancy?

How does synaptic pruning influence the infant brain?

What are the four lobes of the cortex? What are the primary functions of each lobe?

What is “plasticity”? How does it affect the infant brain?

Name and describe the risk factors for SIDS, including the research evidence regarding cosleeping.

Describe how infants’ nutritional needs change during the first year of life.

What are some consequences of malnutrition in infancy?

What are the two major causes of infant (post-neonatal) mortality? What are the preventions and/or treatments for each?

Describe the major changes during infancy in gross and fine motor development.

Describe the sensorimotor stage. What is it that babies can do and cannot do during this stage?

What is the major critique of Piaget’s claims about the sensorimotor stage?

Describe the elements of the information processing model of cognitive functioning.

What are habituation and dishabituation? What is the relationship between habituation and later intelligence?

Explain how long-term memory expands during infancy.

Describe the major scales used in measuring infant development.

Evaluate the claim that educational media enhance infants’ cognitive development.

Describe the course of language development over the first year of life.

Define infant temperament and describe its main dimensions.

Name and describe the three traditional types of temperament that we see in babies.

Explain how the idea of goodness-of-fit pertains to temperament on both a family level and a cultural level.

Identify the primary emotions and describe how they develop during infancy.

Describe infant’s emotional perceptions and how their emotions become increasingly social over the first year (i.e., emotional contagion and social referencing).

Briefly describe Erikson’s theory of social development. According to Erikson, what is the “crisis” that infants have to resolve?

Briefly describe Bowlby’s attachment theory.

Describe some research investigating whether babies understand moral right and wrong.

Key terms to define/understand




custom complex


gross motor development

fine motor development


infant-directed (ID) speech