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HM411 Healthcare Management Question: 1. Explain how environmental stimuli (e.g., auditory and visual stimulation) shape the nervous system during key developmental periods in ways that affect learning and memory.     2. Define and explain the “overstimulation hypothesis” and why it is important to development and learning.   3. Describe the three main lines of evidence (e.g., cross-sectional, longitudinal, and experimental) that demonstrate the effects of early exposure to media on child development including attentional capacity, learning and memory, cognition, language, and risk taking.   4. Reflect on the societal significance of these experimental findings and propose a relevant public policy change or initiative. Answer: The essay brings is on the development of the child and the effects of environmental stimuli on the nervous system of an individual during the key developmental periods which further impacts the learning process and memory. In s general sense, stimuli refers to things or any events which induce a particular functional response in a tissue or organ (English Oxford Living Dictionaries, 2018). In other words, stimulus (stimuli) refers to the identifiable change in the external or internal environment. Receptors are specialized cells which detect the changes in the environment, called as stimuli (Pavlov, 2010). Thus, the essay will discuss the audio-visual stimuli, and the concept of overstimulation hypothesis, with a major emphasis on the early exposure to media on the development of a child (Aita, & Goulet, 2003; Christakis, Ramirez, Ramirez, 2012). Several aspects of this study will also be highlighted such as attentional capacity, cognition, learning, and memory, and their impact on the overall society (Aita, & Goulet, 2003). The nervous system of an individual is composed of the complex network of more than 100 million nerve cells, called as neurons enabling the body to respond to different internal and external environmental stimulus. It integrates and regulates the functions of different organ systems of the human body (Beauchaine, 2001). Auditory and visual stimuli influence an individual’s nervous system in many different ways. For example; the type of stimuli to which infants and children are exposed determines their behavior and development in their key stages of life. An auditory stimulus refers to those things which an individual listens and the basic type of auditory stimulus in the presentation is the sound stimulus (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017). Discussing auditory stimuli it can be stated that these types of stimulus are created by the objects, such as it includes about the person speaking, musical instrument played by someone, or the sound of trees falling in the forest. Hearing is the greatest developed sensory system at birth and primary exposure to auditory stimuli that motivates growth of the neural pathways. Functional hearing grows at twenty-fifth to twenty-seventh weeks’ gestation, with the low-frequency noises, like the mother’s heartbeat and talking, causing physiological reactions in the uterus (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017). The growing foetus answers to a broader range of noise frequencies from the third trimester (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017).  In babies, sounds produce remembrance in the auditory and the language areas of baby’s cerebral cortex and trigger the development of nervous connections to body’s limbic system (Schore, 2000). In the clinical examinations of the effects of the auditory stimulus on neurobehavioral and autonomic development in initial life, longitudinal and randomized case-control readings have revealed that motherly sounds like singing or talking in a soft soothing speech, lead to decreased heart rate in pre-term infants (Gesell, 2013). Maternal sounds were also related to better feeding behaviors and improved mother-infant attachment, thereby dropping parental stress related to pre-term baby care (Corbetta, Patel, & Shulman, 2008). The Visual sensory system developed poorly at birth but develops quickly with stimulation in the first 1 to 3 months of life (Gesell, 2013). Development of the visual system, counting neurological and visual components, is affected by many aspects including postnatal and prenatal nutrition and postnatal pictorial stimulation (Crain, 2015). The body’s visual cortex is the area of the mind accountable for handling visual information. There is some experimental evidence that, from birth, babies favor direct eye interaction as a practice of communication and that improved neural processing happens throughout infant-parent straight eye contact (Gesell, 2013). Certainly, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that parents need to involve in the direct eye interaction with their baby starting at birth (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017). This initial sensitivity to shared gaze is probably to support the growth of social skills in life later (Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2005). At the start of a sensitive period, the neural representations are rather widely tuned to associate with environmental stimuli. Extensive tuning is beneficial because it permits the growing brain to recognize and respond to the characteristics of the sensory environment. During the sensitive period, the neural representations develop progressively refined and initiate to especially respond to regularly encountered, thus allowing for extra precise and effective handling of noticeable and regularly encountered information (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017). Through numerous sensory systems, learning and plasticity throughout sensitive periods are called “bottom-up” process, categorized by the perceptual contracting in which underlying perceptual discrimination developed increasingly discriminating in their responsiveness to the environmental input (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017). The Overstimulation Hypothesis is considered as the continued exposure to a quick image alteration during an acute period of mind growth which would prerequisite the brain to suppose great levels of stimuli and that would result in distraction in later life (Christakis, Ramirez, Ramirez, 2012). Therefore if someone watches sufficient ‘Baby Einstein’ (example), their mind might become uninterested when they are remain at a place that was speaking about activities happened on the show because in real life it is not as promising as it was on the television. Some observational research has shown links between overstimulation in early stages of life via excessive television viewing and consequent deficits in understanding and attention (Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe, McCarty, 2004). Environmental enhancement is extensively known to significantly improved memory functions (Leggio et al., 2005). The environmental improvement results in many neurobiological alterations counting increased and improved dendritic splitting in the cortical neurons enlarged size and density of the greater colliculus and proliferated neurogenesis in the part of the brain called hippocampus (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017). The important characteristic of the enriched environment (environment that stimulate brain to learn things by physical and social surrounding) comprises numerous sensory practices, and the active involvement with the original environment (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017). In studies on the effects of environmental stimuli in rats, the Institute of Medicine demonstrated how initial social environments should similarly be enhanced to improve brain growth (DiPietro, 2000). This can be done by the exposure of products or content; several of these products were video-based, that privilege that they triggered baby’s brains enables them to become for example “smarter” or extra “musical” through no empiric basis of help (Christakis, 2009). Due to this, in the later thirty years, the normal age at which kids begin to frequently watch television has changed from four years of age to five months of age and the usual preschool kid spends nearly 30–40 per cent of their waking period in front of a type of screen, This may cause delayed language development, attention disorder and sleep problems (Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe, McCarty, 2004). Chief, but implied in the improved environment readings is the idea that the stimulus delivered was normative, which is constant with what can be practised by rats in a realistic setting. Observational studies have supported the link between unnecessary watching of such shows and consequent attentional issues (Christakis, 2009). Single brief experimental research found watching a fast sequenced program results in temporary attentional difficulties in preschool kids (Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe, McCarty, 2004). The essential departure from the enhanced environment method verified the “opposite” theory: extreme, non-normative triggering or stimulation throughout a comparable period will weaken performance afterward (Papoušek, 2007). To eliminate the danger of these problems it is essential to understand and recognize the overstimulation (Aita, & Goulet, 2003). Some of the studies found that the babies learn language better from the parent talker than from any display even if it is a voice tape of the inherent speaker. These conclusions beg the query of why numerous DVD’s claim to enhance language enrichment (e.g. Baby Einstein ‘Language Nursery’”) (Christakis, 2008). These statements have never been validated by strong experimental readings. Furthermore, a cross-sectional reading of one thousand kids below the age of two years unsuccessful to identify any advantage to infant watching (Christakis, 2009). That study further found that the babies among the ages of seven and sixteen months who viewed baby DVDs had inferior language understanding (Christakis, 2008). Beyond the impacts on language, excessive early exposure to television may have adverse effects on cognitive growth more widely. The effects of television on older kids’ academic success have been widely studied while data for babies are comparatively sparse (Christakis, Ramirez, Ramirez, 2012). In a longitudinal study of premature exposure to TV and cognitive results at school age, they found no proof of advantage and in fact revealed detriment (Shute, & Slee, 2015). In a big observational study of above 1300 kids revealed a modest link between TV watching earlier age three and attentional difficulties at age seven. The more television kids viewed as babies, the more probably they were to have some time attentional difficulties at age seven. Both violent and the non-violent learning platforms were linked with considerably improved threats of attentional difficulties, but educational shows were not thus lending further credibility to the hypothesis of overstimulation (Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe, McCarty, 2004). Overstimulated rats demonstrate improved risk taking/reduced anxiety, lesser temporary memory, and weakened learning (Christakis, 2008). High television viewing experience to upbringing, television has been identified to harmfully disturb the language usage and attainment, cognitive development, attention and executive ability in kids younger than five years (Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe, McCarty, 2004). However, when kids view educational, screen time, age-appropriate shows with an involved adult, can be a helpful learning experience (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017).  These diverse studies conducted by researches found to be most important to recognize the positive and negative impacts of television or media in kids (Christakis, Ramirez, Ramirez, 2012). These researches might benefit people to increase information about overstimulation that can play and key essential role in the growth of the babies. The environmental stimuli are beneficial to understanding the effects of the surrounding environment on child growth such as auditory and the visual stimulations (Christakis, Ramirez, Ramirez, 2012). Chills start listening in the mother’s abdomen and it improves the attachment between mother and kid (Boyd, Bee, & Johnson, 2017).   The public policy can be developed on the basis of these researches that can help the parents and the carers to understand about the benefits, disadvantages, and importance of media, overstimulation, and environmental stimuli in order to provide their children’s a healthy development. The parents should be recommended to limit the use of media (1 to 2 hours daily) to the children’s, and avoid the loud sound that may impact the infants negatively (Linebarger, & Vaala, 2010). They should not allow the children to watch negative TV shows (for example, the TV shows with violent content) and encourage them to see educational shows for a limited time (Jordan, Hersey, McDivitt, & Heitzler, 2006). The environmental stimuli are identifiable alterations in the external and internal atmosphere. The auditory stimuli impact the hearing development of infant at birth such as falling tree in the forest. The developing foetus responds to various types of frequencies from the 3rd trimester. The overstimulation hypothesis is the consistent exposure to the rapid image changes through an acute period or brain development. For normal and healthy development child it is necessary to understand impacts overstimulation. The early exposure to media may cause a decrease in language to understand, low cognitive development and attention difficulties. The media uses should be limited and the parents should be engaged in the media uses with the child. References Aita, M., & Goulet, C. (2003). Assessment of neonatal nurses’ behaviors that prevent overstimulation in preterm infants. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 19(2), 109-118. Pavlov, P. I. (2010). Conditioned reflexes: an investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex. Annals of neurosciences, 17(3), 136. Beauchaine, T. (2001). Vagal tone, development, and Gray’s motivational theory: Toward an integrated model of autonomic nervous system functioning in psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, 13(2), 183-214.  English Oxford Living Dictionaries (2018). Stimulus. Retrieved from:  Boyd, D. R., Bee, H. L., & Johnson, P. A. (2017). Lifespan Development (2nd ed.). Canada: Pearson Education Canada. Christakis, D. A. (2009). The effects of infant media usage: what do we know and what should we learn?. Acta Paediatrica, 98(1), 8-16. Christakis, D.A. (2008). The effects of infant media usage: What do we know and what should we learn. Acta Paediatrica, 98: 8-16. Christakis, D.A., Ramirez, J.S.B., Ramirez, J.M. (2012). Overstimulation of newborn mice leads to behavioral differences and deficits in cognitive performance. Scientific Reports, 2(546):1-6. Christakis, D.A., Zimmerman, F.J., DiGiuseppe, D.L., McCarty, C.A. (2004). Early television exposure and subsequent attentional problems in children. Pediatrics, 113(4): 708-713. Corbetta, M., Patel, G., & Shulman, G. L. (2008). The reorienting system of the human brain: from environment to theory of mind. Neuron, 58(3), 306-324. Crain, W. (2015). Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications: Concepts and Applications (6th ed.). New York: Psychology Press. DiPietro, J. A. (2000). Baby and the brain: advances in child development. Annual review of public health, 21(1), 455-471. Gesell, A. (2013). Vision-its development in infant and child (6th ed.). UK: Read Books Ltd. Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., Walker, J. M., Sandler, H. M., Whetsel, D., Green, C. L., Wilkins, A. S., & Closson, K. (2005). Why do parents become involved? Research findings and implications. The elementary school journal, 106(2), 105-130. Jordan, A. B., Hersey, J. C., McDivitt, J. A., & Heitzler, C. D. (2006). Reducing Children9s Television-Viewing Time: A Qualitative Study of Parents and Their Children. Pediatrics, 118(5), e1303-e1310. Leggio, M. G., Mandolesi, L., Federico, F., Spirito, F., Ricci, B., Gelfo, F., & Petrosini, L. (2005). Environmental enrichment promotes improved spatial abilities and enhanced dendritic growth in the rat. Behavioural brain research, 163(1), 78-90. Linebarger, D. L., & Vaala, S. E. (2010). Screen media and language development in infants and toddlers: An ecological perspective. Developmental Review, 30(2), 176-202. Papoušek, M. (2007). Communication in early infancy: An arena of intersubjective learning. Infant Behavior and Development, 30(2), 258-266. Schore, A. N. (2000). Attachment and the regulation of the right brain. Attachment & human development, 2(1), 23-47. Shute, R. H., & Slee, P. T. (2015). Child development: Theories and critical perspectives (2nd ed.). New York:  Routledge.

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