an average, or standard, measurement, calculated from the measurements of many individuals within a specific group or population
a point on a ranking scale of 0 to 100. The 50th percentile is the midpoint; half the people in the population rank higher and half rank lower.
the biological protection of the brain when malnutrition affects body growth. The brain is the last part of the body to be affected by malnutrition.
rapid eye movement sleep, a stage of sleep characterized by flickering eyes behind closed lids, dreaming and rapid brain waves.
Newborns have a high proportion of this.
a custom in which parents and their children (usually infants) sleep together.
one of the billions of nerve cells in the central nervous system, especially the brain.
the outer layers of the brain in humans and other mammals. Most thinking, feeling and sensing involve the cortex.
a fiber that extends from a neuron and transmits electrochemical impulses from that neuron to the dendrites of other neurons.
a fiber that extends from a neuron and receives electrochemical impulses transmitted from other neurons via their axons.
the intersection between the axon of one neuron and the dendrites of other neurons.
the great increase in the number of dendrites that occurs in an infant’s brain during the first two years of life.
refers to brain functions that require certain basic common experiences (which an infant can be expected to have)in order to develop normally.
refers to brain functions that depend on particular, variable experiences and that therefore may or may not develop in a particular infant.
the area of cortex at the front of the brain that specializes in anticipation, planning, and impulse control.
shaken baby syndrome
a life-threatening condition that occurs when an infant is forcefully shaken back and forth, rupturing blood vessels in the brain and breaking neural connections
the inborn drive to remedy a developmental deficit
a time when a certain kind of growth or development is most likely to happen or happens most readily
the response of a sensory system (eyes, ears, skin, tongue, nose) when it detects a stimulus
the mental processing of sensory information, when the brain interprets a sensation.
the ability to focus the two eyes in a coordinated manner in order to see one image
the learned ability to move some part of the body, from a large leap to a flicker of the eyelid.
a responsive movement that seems automatic because it almost always occurs in reaction to a particular stimulus. Newborns have many, some of which disappear with maturation.
when infants feed are stroked, their toes fan upward
when infants are held upright with their feet touching a flat surface, they move their legs as if to walk
when they are laid horizontally on their stomachs, infants stretch out their arms and legs
palmar grasping reflex
when something touches infants’ palms, they grip it tightly
when someone startles them, perhaps by banging on the table they are lying on, infants fling their arms outward and then bring them together on their chests, as if to hold on to something, while crying with wide open eyes.
gross motor skills
physical abilities involving large body movements, such as walking and jumping.
fine motor skills
physical abilities involving small body movements, especially of the hands and fingers, such as drawing and picking up a coin
a process that stimulates the body’s immune system to defend against attack by a particular contagious disease.
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
a situation in which a seemingly healthy infant, at least 2 months of age, suddenly stops breathing and dies unexpectedly while asleep. The cause is unknown, but it is correlated with sleeping on the stomach and having parents who smoke.
a condition in which a person does not consume sufficient food of any kind.
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