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is an inborn, automatic response to a particular form of stimulation

states of arousal

degrees of sleep and wakefulness

rapid-eye movement sleep

electrical brainwave activity, measured with the EEG, is remarkably similar to that of the waking state.

Non-rapid movement sleep

the body is almost motionless, and heart rate, breathing, and brain-wave activity are slow and regular.

Sudden Infant Death syndrome

the unexpected death, usually during the night, of an infant younger than 1 year of age that remains unexplained after thorough investigation.

Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale

evaluates the baby's reflexes, muscle tone, state changes, responsiveness to physical and social stimuli, and other reactions

Classical Conditioning

possible in the young infant. in this form of learning, a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that leads to a reflexive response. Once the baby's nervous system make the connection between the two stimuli, the new stimulus will produce the behavioral itself.

Unconditioned Stimulus

breast milk

Unconditioned response


Conditioned stimulus

forehead stoking

Conditioned response


Operant Conditioning

infants act on the environment, and stimuli that follow their behavior change the probability that the behavior will occur again.


A stimulus that increases the occurrence of a response.


removing a desirable stimulus or presenting an unpleasant one to decrease the occurrence or a response.


refers to a gradual reduction in the strength of a response due to repetitive stimulation


a new stimulus- a change in the environment-causes the habituated response to return to a high level.


by copying the behavior of another person

mirror neurons

Fire identically when a primate hears or sees an action and when it carries out that action on its own.

Cephalocaudal trend

head to tail sequence, is evident: Motor control of the head comes before control of the arms and trunk, which comes before control of the legs.

Proximodistal Trend

Meaning from the center of the body outward: Head, trunk, and arm control precedes coordination of the hands and fingers.

Dynamic Systems of Motor Development

mastery of motor skills involves acquiring increasingly complex systems of action. when motor skills works a system, separate abilities blend together, each cooperating with other to produce more effective ways of exploring and controlling the environment.


poorly coordinated swipes

Ulnar Grasp

a clumsy motion in which the baby's fingers close against the palm.

Pincer Grasp

By the end of the first year, infants use the thumb and index finger opposably.

Statistical learning capacity

Analyzing the speech stream for patterns-regularly occurring sequences of sounds-they acquire a stock of speech structures for which they will later learn meanings, long before they start to talk around are 12 months.

Visual Acuity

Fineness of discrimination, is limited.

Visual Cliff

Designed by Eleanor Gibson and Richard Walk and used in the earliest studies of depth perception. It consists of Plexiglas-covered table with a platform at the center, a shallow side with a checkerboard pattern just under the glass, and a deep side with a checkerboard several ft below the glass.

Contrast Sensitivity

Explains early pattern preferences. If babies are sensitive to the contrast in two or more patterns they prefer the one with more contrast.

Size constancy

Perception of an object's size as stable, despite changes in the size of its retinal image

Shape constancy

Perception of an object's shape as stable, despite changes int eh shape projected on the retina

Intermodal perception

We make sense of these running streams of light, sound, tactile, odor, and taste information by perceiving them as integrated wholes.

Amodal Sensory properties

information that is not specific to a single modality but that overlaps two or more sensory systems, such as rate, rhythm, duration, intensity, temporal synchrony, and texture and shape.

Differentiation theory

Infants actively search for invariant features of the environment- those that remain stable- in a constantly changing perceptual world.


the action possibilities that a situation offers an organism with certain motor capabilities.

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