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PDF Baby Teacher: Nurturing Neural Networks From Birth to Age Five

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Portrait of a Neuron. The Triune Brain. Bach Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach kindergarten Kodaly method language learning listening math melody ment mind mother Mozart Effect music training musicians neural networks neurons newborn notes nurture parents and caregivers percent performance Piaget piano play polyphony prefrontal cortex preschool Psychology result Shaw singing skills social song sounds spatial-temporal reasoning stimulation Superlearning Susan Greenfield teaching thinking tion Vygotsky Wolfgang Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart words young children.

She has published numerous articles on early childhood education and has lectured extensively on this topic. Longitudinal studies often require large amounts of time and funding, making them unfeasible in some situations. Also, because members of a cohort all experience historical events unique to their generation, apparently normative developmental trends may, in fact, be universal only to their cohort.

In a cross-sectional study , a researcher observes differences between individuals of different ages at the same time. This generally requires fewer resources than the longitudinal method, and because the individuals come from different cohorts, shared historical events are not so much of a confounding factor. By the same token, however, cross-sectional research may not be the most effective way to study differences between participants, as these differences may result not from their different ages but from their exposure to different historical events.

A third study design, the sequential design , combines both methodologies. Here, a researcher observes members of different birth cohorts at the same time, and then tracks all participants over time, charting changes in the groups. While much more resource-intensive, the format aids in a clearer distinction between what changes can be attributed to an individual or historical environment from those that are truly universal. Because every method has some weaknesses, developmental psychologists rarely rely on one study or even one method to reach conclusions by finding consistent evidence from as many converging sources as possible.

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Prenatal development is of interest to psychologists investigating the context of early psychological development. The whole prenatal development involves three main stages: germinal stage, embryonic stage and fetal stage. Germinal stage begins at conception until 2 weeks; embryonic stage means the development from 2 weeks to 8 weeks; fetal stage represents 9 weeks until birth of the baby. The sense of touch develops in the embryonic stage 5 to 8 weeks. Some primitive reflexes too arise before birth and are still present in newborns.

One hypothesis is that these reflexes are vestigial and have limited use in early human life. Piaget's theory of cognitive development suggested that some early reflexes are building blocks for infant sensorimotor development. For example, the tonic neck reflex may help development by bringing objects into the infant's field of view. Other reflexes, such as the walking reflex appear to be replaced by more sophisticated voluntary control later in infancy.

This may be because the infant gains too much weight after birth to be strong enough to use the reflex, or because the reflex and subsequent development are functionally different. Ultrasound has shown that infants are capable of a range of movements in the womb, many of which appear to be more than simple reflexes.


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With the advent of cognitive neuroscience , embryology and the neuroscience of prenatal development is of increasing interest to developmental psychology research. Several environmental agents— teratogens —can cause damage during the prenatal period. These include prescription and nonprescription drugs, illegal drugs, tobacco, alcohol, environmental pollutants, infectious disease agents such as the rubella virus and the toxoplasmosis parasite, maternal malnutrition, maternal emotional stress, and Rh factor blood incompatibility between mother and child.

A leading example of this would be that, in America alone, approximately ,, 'cocaine babies' are born on an annual basis. This is a result of an expectant mother abusing the drug while pregnant.

How to Develop Brain Power of your Child

The drug also encourages behavioural problems in the affected children, as well as defects of various vital organs. From birth until the first year, the child is referred to as an infant. The majority of a newborn infant's time is spent in sleep. At first, this sleep is evenly spread throughout the day and night, but after a couple of months, infants generally become diurnal. Infant perception is what a newborn can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. These five features are better known as one's "five senses". Babies are born with the ability to discriminate virtually all sounds of all human languages.

At this stage infants also start to babble , producing phonemes. Piaget suggested that an infant's perception and understanding of the world depended on their motor development, which was required for the infant to link visual, tactile and motor representations of objects. Piaget's sensorimotor stage comprised six sub-stages see sensorimotor stages for more detail. In the early stages, development arises out of movements caused by primitive reflexes. Piaget came to his conclusion that infants lacked a complete understanding of object permanence before 18 months after observing infants' failure before this age to look for an object where it was last seen.

Instead, infants continue to look for an object where it was first seen, committing the " A-not-B error. In the s and s, researchers have developed many new methods of assessing infants' understanding of the world with far more precision and subtlety than Piaget was able to do in his time. Since then, many studies based on these methods suggest that young infants understand far more about the world than first thought.

Based on recent findings, some researchers such as Elizabeth Spelke and Renee Baillargeon have proposed that an understanding of object permanence is not learned at all, but rather comprises part of the innate cognitive capacities of our species. Other research has suggested that young infants in their first six months of life may possess an understanding of numerous aspects of the world around them, including:. There are critical periods in infancy and childhood during which development of certain perceptual, sensorimotor, social and language systems depends crucially on environmental stimulation.

The concept of critical periods is also well-established in neurophysiology , from the work of Hubel and Wiesel among others. Children with developmental delays DD are at heightened risk for developing clinically significant behavioral and emotional difficulties as compared to children with typical development TD. However, nearly all studies comparing psychopathology in youth with DD employ TD control groups of the same chronological age CA. This comorbidity of DD and a mental disorder is often referred to as dual diagnosis.

Studies that include comparison samples of children with typical development TD highlight the considerable difference in risk for psychopathology, with the relative risk for youth with DD to youth with TD ranging from 2. Infants shift between ages of one and two to a developmental stage known as toddlerhood.


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  8. In this stage, an infant's transition into toddlerhood is highlighted through self-awareness, developing maturity in language use, and presence of memory and imagination. During toddlerhood, babies begin learning how to walk , talk, and make decisions for themselves. An important characteristic of this age period is the development of language , where children are learning how to communicate and express their emotions and desires through the use of vocal sounds, babbling, and eventually words.

    At this age, children take initiative to explore, experiment and learn from making mistakes. Caretakers who encourage toddlers to try new things and test their limits, help the child become autonomous, self-reliant, and confident. The child's autonomic development is inhibited, leaving them less prepared to deal with the world in the future. Toddlers also begin to identify themselves in gender roles , acting according to their perception of what a man or woman should do.

    Socially, the period of toddler-hood is commonly called the "terrible twos". A person at this stage testing their independence is another reason behind the stage's infamous label. Tantrums in a fit of frustration are also common. Erik Erikson divides childhood into four stages, each with its distinct social crisis: [70]. Play or preschool ages 3—5. In the earliest years, children are "completely dependent on the care of others. During their preschool years , they "enlarge their social horizons" to include people outside the family. Preoperational and then operational thinking develops, which means actions are reversible, and egocentric thought diminishes.

    The motor skills of preschoolers increase so they can do more things for themselves. They become more independent. No longer completely dependent on the care of others, the world of this age group expands. More people have a role in shaping their individual personalities. Preschoolers explore and question their world. Play is a major activity for ages 3—5. For Piaget, through play "a child reaches higher levels of cognitive development. In their expanded world, children in the age group attempt to find their own way.

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    If this is done in a socially acceptable way, the child develops the initiative. If not, the child develops guilt. Middle childhood ages 6— For Erik Erikson, the psychosocial crisis during middle childhood is Industry vs. Inferiority which, if successfully met, instills a sense of Competency in the child. In all cultures, middle childhood is a time for developing "skills that will be needed in their society.

    The "peril during this period is that feelings of inadequacy and inferiority will develop. Lack of encouragement or ability to excel lead to "feelings of inadequacy and inferiority".

    The Centers for Disease Control the CDC divides Middle Childhood into two stages, 6—8 years and 9—11 years, and gives "developmental milestones for each stage. Middle Childhood Entering elementary school, children in this age group begin to thinks about the future and their "place in the world. This leads to "more independence from parents and family.

    They become less self-centered and show "more concern for others". For children ages 9—11 "friendships and peer relationships" increase in strength, complexity, and importance. This results in greater "peer pressure. To meet this challenge, they increase their attention span and learn to see other points of view. It is the period known for the formation of personal and social identity see Erik Erikson and the discovery of moral purpose see William Damon.

    Intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts and formal reasoning. A return to egocentric thought often occurs early in the period. Huitt, W. January [84]. The adolescent unconsciously explores questions such as "Who am I? Who do I want to be? Different roles, behaviors and ideologies must be tried out to select an identity. Role confusion and inability to choose vocation can result from a failure to achieve a sense of identity through, for example, friends.

    Early adulthood generally refers to the period between ages 18 to 29, [85] and according to theorists such as Erik Erikson, is a stage where development is mainly focused on maintaining relationships. Some theorists state that development of intimacy skills rely on the resolution of previous developmental stages. A sense of identity gained in the previous stages is also necessary for intimacy to develop.

    If this skill is not learned the alternative is alienation, isolation, a fear of commitment, and the inability to depend on others. A related framework for studying this part of the lifespan is that of emerging adulthood. Scholars of emerging adulthood, such as Jeffrey Arnett, are not necessarily interested in relationship development. Instead, this concept suggests that people transition after their teenage years into a period not characterized as relationship building and an overall sense of constancy with life, but with years of living with parents, phases of self-discovery, and experimentation.

    Middle adulthood generally refers to the period between ages 29 to During this period, middle-aged adults experience a conflict between generativity and stagnation. They may either feel a sense of contributing to society, the next generation, or their immediate community; or develop a sense of purposelessness. Physically, the middle-aged experience a decline in muscular strength, reaction time, sensory keenness, and cardiac output.

    Also, women experience menopause at an average age of Andropause in males is a hormone fluctuation with physical and psychological effects that can be similar to those seen in menopausal females. As men age lowered testosterone levels can contribute to mood swings and a decline in sperm count. Sexual responsiveness can also be affected, including delays in erection and longer periods of penile stimulation required to achieve ejaculation.

    The important influence of biological and social changes experienced by women and men in middle adulthood is reflected in that fact that depression is highest at age The World Health Organization finds "no general agreement on the age at which a person becomes old. However, in developing countries inability to make "active contribution" to society, not chronological age, marks the beginning of old age. In reflecting on their lives, people in this age group develop a feeling of integrity if deciding that their lives were successful or a feeling of despair if evaluation of one's life indicates a failure to achieve goals.

    Physically, older people experience a decline in muscular strength, reaction time, stamina, hearing, distance perception, and the sense of smell. Sexual expression depends in large part upon the emotional and physical health of the individual. Many older adults continue to be sexually active and satisfied with their sexual activity.

    Mental disintegration may also occur, leading to dementia or ailments such as Alzheimer's disease. The average age of onset for dementia in males is Longitudinal studies show that perceptual speed, inductive reasoning, and spatial orientation decline. Parenting variables alone have typically accounted for 20 to 50 percent of the variance in child outcomes.

    D.o.w.n.l.o.a.d E.b.o.ok Nurturing Networks (Europe and Central Asia Studies)

    All parents have their own parenting styles. Parenting styles, according to Kimberly Kopko , are "based upon two aspects of parenting behavior; control and warmth. Parental control refers to the degree to which parents manage their children's behavior. Parental warmth refers to the degree to which parents are accepting and responsive to their children's behavior. The following parenting styles have been described in the child development literature:.

    First Steps in Music for Infants and Toddlers

    Parenting roles in child development have typically focused on the role of the mother. Recent literature, however, has looked toward the father as having an important role in child development. Affirming a role for fathers, studies have shown that children as young as 15 months benefit significantly from substantial engagement with their father. Having more than one of these figures contributes to a higher likelihood of positive child outcomes.

    Another parental factor often debated in terms of its effects on child development is divorce. Divorce in itself is not a determining factor of negative child outcomes. In fact, the majority of children from divorcing families fall into the normal range on measures of psychological and cognitive functioning. Overall, protective factors facilitating positive child development after a divorce are maternal warmth, positive father-child relationship, and cooperation between parents. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the journal, see Developmental Psychology journal.

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    Basic types. Applied psychology. Main article: Psychosexual development. Main article: Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Main article: Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Main article: Erikson's stages of psychosocial development. Main article: Model of hierarchical complexity.

    Main article: Ecological systems theory. Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory. Main article: Zone of proximal development. Main article: Constructivism psychological school. Main article: Evolutionary developmental psychology. Main article: Attachment theory. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

    In the womb

    Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main articles: Cognitive development , Theory of cognitive development , and Neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development. Main articles: Social-emotional development in childhood and Social psychology. See also: Child development stages. Main article: Prenatal development. See also: Fetal psychology. Main articles: Infant and child psychology and Infant cognitive development. Main article: Language development. Main article: Toddler. See also: Early childhood. Main article: Adolescent psychology. Main article: Young adult psychology. Main article: Middle age.

    Main article: Old age. Psychology portal. Toggle navigation Bates College. Link Network. Borrow it Toggle Dropdown Ladd Library. Baby teacher : nurturing neural networks from birth to age five, Rebecca Shore. The Resource Baby teacher : nurturing neural networks from birth to age five, Rebecca Shore. Baby teacher : nurturing neural networks from birth to age five, Rebecca Shore Resource Information. The item Baby teacher : nurturing neural networks from birth to age five, Rebecca Shore represents a specific, individual, material embodiment of a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in Bates College.

    This item is available to borrow from 1 library branch. Creator Shore, Rebecca, Language eng. Publication Lanham, Md.