BCD604 - The Brain and Cognitive Development

Outline info
Semester
School
Last revision date 2017-06-14 15:33:16.523
Last review date 2017-06-14 15:33:16.524


Subject Title
The Brain and Cognitive Development

Subject Description
Students will investigate the ways the brain functions, changes over time, and responds to both environmental and genetic factors. Connections between the continuum of development of cognitive skills and the contexts that they develop will be explored. Students will examine the link between early adversity, brain development, and gene expression with the goal of leveraging the science of brain development to support their professional practice. This course will expand on topics that have been introduced in previous development courses such as self-regulation, executive functioning, memory, attention, and learning.
 

Credit Status
BCD604 is a required subject in the Honours Bachelor of Child Development degree.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon successful completion of this subject, the student will be able to:
 

  1. Identify the architecture of the brain, major functions, and the process of brain maturation in children and adolescents.
  2. Differentiate between factors that promote or interfere with healthy early brain development with the purpose of buffering threats to the brain throughout the lifespan.
  3. Interpret the epigenetic impact on brain development and behaviour in various contexts.
  4. Analyze the developmental continuum of executive functioning and self-regulation in children and adolescents.
  5. Evaluate the impact of early life adversity on physical, emotional, social, and cognitive well-being in later life.
  6. Determine how current research can be put into practice in services for children, families, and communities.
 

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

Discrimination/Harassment
All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Topic Outline

  • Brain architecture
    • Wiring the brain’s diagram, lobes, and their functions
    • Limbic system
  • Early brain development
    • Plasticity and epigenetics
  • Threats to the developing brain
    • Stress
    • Adverse childhood experiences
    • Intergenerational transmission of trauma
    • Strategies to buffer the threats to the developing brain (professional and policy responses)
  • The neuro-relational framework: Brain systems
  • Self-regulation
    • Continuum of development of self-regulation
    • Responsive care, atunement, and attachment as the context for the development of self-regulation
  • Executive functioning
    • Theoretical underpinnings
    • Context and continuum for the development of skills
    • Supporting the individual’s growing capacity for executive functioning
  • Cognitive Development
    • Memory
    • Attention
    • Language

Mode of Instruction

  • Collaborative discussions
  • Interactive media-rich lectures
  • Small group activities
  • Wed-based interactions
  • Presentations
  • Case Studies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
OR
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.


Modes of Evaluation

Literature Review and Presentation           50%
Midterm Exam                                            20%
Final Exam                                                 30%
 
Creating a Climate of Respect
Building knowledge collaboratively (social constructivism) is the theoretical cornerstone of the BCD program. To be consistent with this philosophy, the program supports the creation of a culture of respect and collegiality among faculty, students, and staff. We rely on all participants to demonstrate respect by keeping appointments, being on time for classes, listening to the diverse perspectives of others, and being clear and sensitive in communication.
 
Confidentiality
Personal information is often shared in classes. Students are required to keep this information confidential. For assignments, classroom discussions, and other learning situations, you must protect the identity of the people and settings you mention and circumstances related by other students and/or staff.
 
Preparing Assignments
It is assumed that all work will be of professional quality. Unless your professor states that work may be submitted by a group, you are expected to prepare your own work for evaluation. All assignments must be word-processed in APA* format. Any student’s work containing numerous spelling, typographical or grammatical errors will result in the loss of marks. Work that is illegible will be returned ungraded and zero (0) marks will be earned.
 
Assignment Policies
It is the student’s responsibility to deliver assignments to faculty members. Most assignments require submission via Blackboard through Safe Assign using a file format specified by your instructor. Students are not permitted to fax copies of assignments and email should only be used for assignments under special circumstances and with prior consent of the professor.
 
In many of the courses in the BCD program, there will be group assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the professor well in advance if there are difficulties within the group that prevent members from working in a cohesive, respectful, and collaborative manner.
 
Please note: It is the student’s responsibility to keep copies (assignments, etc.) used for evaluation purposes.
 
Due Dates and Extensions
Due dates for assignments and other evaluation procedures for each subject are set in class.
 
Requests for extensions must be made to the professor before the due date. Many professors require written requests and approval forms for extensions.
 
When an assignment grade has been reduced to an “F” because of late submission, the “F” grade will be used to calculate the final subject grade but will not prevent the student from passing the subject. The final grade will be based on the combined weighted total of all course evaluations.
 
The last day to submit a late assignment is the last day of classes for that subject. Some professors require that assignment be handed in during the last scheduled class.
 
Unless an extension has already been approved by the professor, assignments received after the final day of a subject will receive 0 marks.
 
Grading
In the BCD program, there is no option to re-write an assignment when the grade earned is an “F” (below 50%). The final course grade will be based on the combined weighted total of all course evaluations.
 
As a student at Seneca College, you are expected to read the College Academic Policy, College Student Handbook, and the BCD Student Handbook. Please note: The information contained in the Academic Policy and Student Handbooks is very important.
 
*APA format refers to the American Psychological Association. They have established a style that is used in all the books and journals that the Association publishes. Many others working in the social and behavioural sciences have adopted this style as their standard as well. When writing in APA format, you need to consider the rules and guidelines for:

  • Font type and size
  • Margins and line spacing
  • Punctuation and abbreviations
  • Construction of tables
  • Selection of headings
  • Citation of references
  • Presentation of statistics
  • As well as many other elements that are a part of every manuscript
 

Approved by: Sandra Noble