Sensitive periods Flashcards Preview

PSYCHOLOGY: Learning > Sensitive periods > Flashcards

Flashcards in Sensitive periods Deck (14):

Define: sensitive period

a time period in development when an organism is more responsive to certain environmental stimuli or experiences.


Sensitive periods are the optimal time for learning; learning can still occur outside of a sensitive period but it may:

Take longer
Be more difficult
Be less successful


How do sensitive periods relate to developmental plasticity?

Synapses and neural pathways are most easily formed.


Describe the sensitive period for oral native/first language acquisition.

Sensitive period is up to 12, but declines at 7.
From birth, we can tell apart differences in sounds in all languages; from age 1, we are more sensitive to differences in sounds in our own lages.


Describe the sensitive period for second language acquisition.

Will speak like a native if learnt at 5-6
If learnt in early adolescence, a 2nd Broca's area can form next to the original.


Other examples of sensitive periods?

Auditory stimulation and coordination of movement


Two types of learning involved in sensitive periods?

Experience-expectant learning and experience-dependent learning


Define: experience-dependent leraning

occurs when learning requires exposure to an experience, which occurs at any time during the lifespan – ie. adaptive plasticity.


Examples of exp-dependent learning?

reading, writing, singing, seeing colour


Is exp-dependent learning unique to each individual?



Define: experience-expectant learning

occurs when the brain encounters the experience that is expected, ideally in a sensitive period


Ix exp-exp learning unique to each individual?

No; it is species wie.


WHen does exp-exp learning usually occur?

During infancy/early childhood


Why is experience necessary for the development of the brain in exp-exp learning?

Because the experiences are what cause the neural pathways to form; without them, brain development might not occur as it should.