Chapter 3

Neurons
Nerve cells, which are the nervous systems basic unit.
myelination
The process by which the axon portion of the neuron becomes covered and insulated with a layer of fat cells, which increases the speed and efficiency of information processing in the nervous system.
synapses
Gaps between neurons, where connections between axon and dendrites occur.
corpus callosum
A large bundle of axon fibers that connect the brain’s left and right hemispheres.
prefrontal cortex
The highest level of the brain’s front lobes that is involved in reasoning, decision making, and self control.
amygdala
A portion of the brain’s limbic system that is the seat of emotions such as anger.
schema
A mental concept or framework that is useful in organizing and interpreting information.
assimilation
Occurs when individuals relinquish their cultural identity and move into the larger society.
accommodation
An adjustment to new information.
equilibration
A mechanism in Piaget’s theory that explains how individuals shift from one state of thought to the next. The shift occurs as they experience cognitive conflict or a disequilibrium in trying to understand the world. Eventually, the individual resolves the conflict and reaches a balance, or equilibrium, of thought.
sensorimotor stage
Piaget’s first stage of development, lasting from birth to about 2 years of age. In this stage, infants construct an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experiences with physical, motoric actions.
preoperational stage
Piaget’s second stage, which lasts approximately from 2 to 7 years of age. In this stage, children being to represent their world with words, images, and drawings.
concrete operational stage
Piaget’s third stage, which lasts approximately from 7 to 11 years of age. In this stage, children can perform operations. Logical reasoning replaces intuitive thought as long as the reasoning can be applied to specific or concrete examples.
formal operational stage
Piaget’s fourth and final stage of cognitive development, which he argued emerges at 11 to 15 years of age. It is characterized by abstract, idealistic, and logical thought.
hypothetical-deductive reasoning
neo-piagetians
postformal thought
Zone of proximal development (ZPD)
social constructivist approach
executive functioning
inductive reasoning
deductive reasoning
critical thinking
creativity
convergent thinking
divergent thinking
metacognition
self-regulatory learning
psychometric/intelligence view
intelligence
mental age (MA)
intelligence quotient (IQ)
normal distribution
triarchic theory of intelligence
emotional intelligence
social cognition
adolescent egocentrism