Cognitive Development - Information Processing

Wendy Frogley
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

Developmental Psychology Mind Map on Cognitive Development - Information Processing, created by Wendy Frogley on 05/27/2014.

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Wendy Frogley
Created by Wendy Frogley over 5 years ago
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Cognitive Development - Information Processing
1 The mind is a complex symbol manipulating system, much like the computer. Information is taken in (encoded), revised into a more effective representation (recoded) and then interpreted by comparing it with other pre existing information (decoded).
2 The store model - We hold information in 3 parts of the mental system: sensory register, short term memory and long term memory.
2.1 Sensory Register - A broad panorama of sights and sounds are represented directly but stored only momentarily.
2.2 Short term Memory - We retain attended-to information briefly, so we can actively 'work' on it to reach our goals. Verbatim digit span - The longest sequence of items a person can repeat back correctly (average 7 items per adult).
2.2.1 Working memory - the number of items that can be briefly held in mind while engaging in effort to manipulate them.
2.2.1.1 Automatic processes - So well learned that they require no space in working memory and allow us to focus on other information while simultaneously performing them.
2.3 Central Executive - The conscious part of the mind that directs the flow of information in order to manage the the cognitive system's activities.
2.4 Long Term Memory - Our pemanent knowledge base which is unlimited. Information stored here is categorised by its contents.
2.5 Improvements of working memory with age.
2.5.1 1) the basic capacity of its stores. Short term and working memory spans increase steadily with age, from 2 digits at 2.5 years to 5 digits at 7 years to 7 digits in adolescence. On working memory tasks it increases from 2 items in early childhood to 5 items in early adulthood. Children in middle childhood and adolescence show that working memory capacity predicts IQ test scores.
2.5.2 2) Speed of processing. Increases in working memory capacity in part reflect gains of processing speed. This process happens rapidly and trails off at age 12, possibly due to myelination or synaptic pruning in the brain.
2.5.3 3) Executive function - Controlling attention, surprising impulses, coordinating information, planning, organising, monitoring,redirecting thought and behaviour. During the school years executive functioning undergoes its biggest period of development. It continues to improve in adolescence when the prefrontal cortex obtains an adult level of synapses. Heredity and and environment combine to impact on executive function - prenatal iron deficiencies can cause lasting memory defects and prenatal teratogens can compromise executive functioning by impairing attention, impulse control and memory.
3 Case's Neo-Piagetian Theory
3.1 Robbie Case accepts Piaget's stages but attributes change within each stage and movement from one to the next to increases in efficiency of working memory capacity.
3.1.1 Three factors contribute to cognitive change - 1) Brain development. Myelination, synaptic growth, and pruning improve efficiency of thought. Therefore biology places a systemwide ceiling on cognitive development. 2) Practise with schemes and automisation - Schemes become automatic through practise, freeing up working memory. 3) formation of central conceptual structures - Once the scheme of a stage becomes automatic and brain development increases processing speed, children are able to generate networks of concepts that permit them to think about a wide range of situations in more advanced ways.
4 Siegler's Model of Strategy Choice
4.1 Robert Siegler uses natural selection to explain cognitive change. When given problems, children generate a variety of strategies and test the usefulness of each one. With experience some strategies are selected and therefore others die off. Overlapping waves pattern - For basic math facts progress moves from a single wrong answer to a variety of strategies and finally a more advanced procedure.
4.2 Speech gesture mismatch - Hand movements suggest more knowledge than can be comprehended by words. Children who present these mismatches seem to be in a transitional state.
5 MEMORY
5.1 Memory strategies - Deliberate mental operations used to increase the likelihood of retaining information in working memory and transferring it to the long term memory.
5.1.1 Rehearsal, Organisation and Elaboration - Rehearsal is repeating information to yourself. It holds information in working memory. Related items are often grouped (organisation). Young children are not adept at this due to control and utilisation deficiencies. Older children are also more likely to apply several strategies at once, the more strategies they use the better they remember. By the end of middle childhood they start to use elaboration (creating a shared relationship or meaning between 2 or more pieces of information that do not share the same category).
5.2 Media multitasking - This greatly reduces learning. working on one tasks activates the hippocampus (involved in explicit memory) and multitasking activates subcortical areas involved in implicit memory (shallow learning). Frequent media multi taskers have a difficult time filtering out irrelevant stimuli when they are not multi tasking.
5.3 Retrieving Information - We retrieve information in 3 ways: recognition, recall and reconstruction.
5.3.1 Recognition - Noticing a stimulus that is identical or similar to one previously experienced. Even young infants are good at recognition because the material is fully present to serve as a retrieval cue. Recognition reaches a near adult level during preschool.
5.3.2 Recall - Generating a mental representation of an absent stimulus. It appears in the second half of the first year. Age 2 children can recall 2 items, at age 4 a maximum of 4 items. Improvement in recall is associated with language development.
5.3.3 Reconstruction - Recoding information while it is in the system or being retrieved. Much of the information people recall is therefore inaccurate.
5.3.3.1 Fuzzy Trace Theory - When we first encode information we reconstruct it automatically, ceasing a vague fuzzy version called a gist. It preserves essential meaning without details. We have a bias towards gist because it require less working memory. Verbatim and gist memories are both available but stored separately for different uses. With age children rely less on verbatim memory and more on gist.
5.4 Semantic memory - Our vast hierarchally organised knowledge systems consisting of concepts, language meanings, facts and rules. Does not require information on when or where the knowledge was required.
5.5 Episodic Memory - Recollections of personally experienced events that occurred at a specific time and place. Semantic memory develops earlier than episodic memory. Not until 3-4 years do children have effective episodic memory systems. Semantic knowledge also contributes to the development of episodic memory.
5.5.1 Scripts - General descriptions of what occurs and when it occurs in a particular situation. Scripts are a form of reconstructive memory that happen when we experience repeated events. Specific instances of a script are hard to recall. Scripts prevent long term memory from being cluttered with unimportant information.
5.5.2 Autobiographical memory - Representations of one-time events that are long lasting due to their personal meaning. For this to occur children must have a clear self image to be an anchor for personally significant events 9around 2 years old). They must also be able to structure these events into a time organised life story. Girls have better autobiographical memories than boys.
5.5.3 Infantile Amnesia - Most of us cannot remember events before age 3. Caused by the inability to represent events verbally and therefore they can't use languages based cues for retrieval. Also the lack of self image - without it children cannot construct an autobiography.
5.6 Eyewitness memory - Older children are better at giving accurate detailed descriptions of past experiences. Preschoolers are poor at source monitoring - identifying where they got their information from (tv or real life). Suggestibility - Court testimonies involves repeated questioning negatively affecting children's response consistency and accuracy. Interventions - children should be prepared so they understand the courtroom process and professionals mist use unbiased open ended questions to reduce suggestibility.
6 ATTENTION
6.1 Sustained, selective and adaptable attention - During the first year infants attend to novel eye catching events.They also focus more on complex stimuli such as toys and videos and show greater slowing of heart rest when engaged (A sign of sustained attention). Sustained attention improves further in toddlerhood when goal directed behaviour begins to occur. More attentive children are better developed cognitively and socially. As sustained attention increases children are better able to focus on relevant aspects of a situation. This selective attention improves sharply between 6 and 10. Older children can also adapt their attention to task requirements by switching mental sets within a task.
6.1.1 Inhibition - The ability to control internal and external distracting stimuli is imperative for developing sustained, selective and adaptable attention. By controlling irrelevant stimuli, inhibition fees up working memory for the task at hand.
6.1.2 Attentional strategies - 1) production deficiency - Preschoolers rarely engage in attentional strategies, i.e. they fail to produce any strategies. 2) Control deficiency - Young primary school children sometimes produce strategies but not consistently. 3) Utilisation deficiency - Later children execute strategies consistently but their performance does not improve. 4) Effective strategy use - By mid primary school years children use strategies efficiently and performance improves.
6.1.3 Planning - Thinking out a sequence of acts ahead of time and allocating attention accordingly to reach a goal. Planning places heavy demands on working memory. Parent child discussion involving planning at age 4 to 9 predicted competence in adolescence planning.
6.2 ADHD - 3 to 7% of US school aged children have ADHD. It involves inattention, impulsivity, and excessive motor activity resulting in academic and social problems. Boys are diagnosed 4 times as often as girls. They can't stay focused on a task that requires mental effort for more than a few minutes. They act impulsively, ignoring social rules and lash out with hostility when frustrated. For diagnosis the symptoms must appear before 7 years as a persistent problem. They score 7 to 15 points lower on IQ tests.
6.2.1 Executive function deficiencies underlie ADHD symptoms. ADHD runs in families and is highly heritable. These children show abnormal brain functioning, including reduced electrical and blood flow activity and structural abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex. Also their brains grow more slowly and are 3% smaller in overall volume with a thinner cerebral cortex. Several genes that disrupt the functioning of seratonin and dopamine have been implicated. ADHD is also associated with environmental factors such as prenatal teratogens (Alcohol, tobacco, pollutants). And they are more likely to come from homes with unhappy marriages and high stress levels.
6.2.2 ADHD treatment - Stimulant medication is the most common treatment and is effective in 70% of children. There are warnings that stimulants may impair heart functioning. The most effective model combines medication with teaching appropriate academic and social behaviour.
7 METACOGNITION
7.1 Awareness and understanding of various aspects of thought.
7.2 Metacognitive Knowledge - By age 3 children realise that thinking happens inside their heads. Up until 6 they pay little attention to the process of thinking, focusing instead on the outcomes of thought. At 10 children distinguish mental activities on the basis of certainty of knowledge.
7.3 Knowledge of strategies - Older children recognise that organising is better than rehearsing. 5th graders are better at determining why strategies work.
7.4 Cognitive self-regulation - Continually monitoring and controlling progress towards a goal, planning and redirect unsuccessful efforts. Better self regulatory skills predict academic success.
8 Academic Learning
8.1 Reading - Emergent literacy (children's active efforts to construct literacy knowledge through informal experience). Initially they do not differentiate between pictures and print. Phonological awareness- reflecting on the sound structure of spoken language, by sensitivity to changes in sound within words, rhyming and incorrect pronunciation. Interactive reading where adults discuss storybook contents, aids in language and literacy development. Low SES preschoolers are read an average total of 25 hours and middle SES children 1000 hours. Skilled readers acquire knowledge more efficiently. In middle childhood gains in processing speed allow rapid conversion of visual symbols into sounds. Whole language approach - From the beginning children should be exposed to text in its complete form. Phonics approach - Children should first be coached in phonics then be given complex reading material.
8.2 Mathematics - Ordinality - Order relations between quantities, this develops in 14-16 month olds. At age 3 children begin to count. Cardinality - The last word in a counting sequence is the quantity of items in a set. Children taught by rote cannot apply the rule to a new problem.
8.3 Scientific Reasoning - Coordinating theories with evidence. Young children often discount casual variables, ignore evidence conflicting with their own beliefs and distort evidence. Improvements are made through greater working memory resources. It also requires metacognitive capacity to evaluate one's objectivity.

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