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What's Going on in There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life
Synopses & Reviews
As a research neuroscientist, Lise Eliot has made the study of the human brain her life's work. But it wasn't until she was pregnant with her first child that she became intrigued with the study of brain development.
She wanted to know precisely how the baby's brain is formed, and when and how each sense, skill, and cognitive ability is developed. And just as important, she was interested in finding out how her role as a nurturer can affect this complex process. How much of her baby's development is genetically ordained--and how much is determined by environment? Is there anything parents can do to make their babies' brains work better--to help them become smarter, happier people?
Drawing upon the exploding research in this field as well as the stories of real children, What's Going On in There? is a lively and thought-provoking book that charts the brain's development from conception through the critical first five years.
In examining the many factors that play crucial roles in that process, What's Going On in There? explores the evolution of the senses, motor skills, social and emotional behaviors, and mental functions such as attention, language, memory, reasoning, and intelligence. This remarkable book also discusses:
Brilliantly blending cutting-edge science with a mother's wisdom and insight, What's Going On in There? is an invaluable contribution to the nature versus nurture debate. Children's development is determined both by the genes they are born with and the richness of their early environment. This timely and important book shows parents the innumerable ways in which they can actually help their children grow better brains.
Book News Annotation:
Using the nature versus nurture debate as a backdrop, this book follows the development of a person's brain from conception to age five and explores the evolution of the senses, motor skills, social and emotional behaviors, and mental functions such as attention, language, memory, reasoning, and intelligence. Eliot's (neurobiology, Chicago Medical School) research examines the many elements that combine to influence the development of the human brain, and how factors such as prenatal nutrition, the birth process itself, external stimulation, and genetics all play vital roles in brain development.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -518) and index.
About the Author
Lise Eliot is a neurobiologist and assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the Chicago Medical School. She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Columbia University and has published work in this field in many professional journals. This is her first book. She lives outside Chicago with her husband and three young children.
Table of Contents
It's all in the brain — The basic biology of brain development — Prenatal influences on the developing brain — How birth affects the brain — The importance of touch — Why babies love to be bounced — The early world of smell — Taste, milk, and the origins of food preference — Wiring up the visual brain — How hearing evolves — Motor milestones — Social-emotional growth — The emergence of memory — Language and the developing brain — How intelligence grows in the brain — Nature, nurture, and sex differences in intellectual development — How to raise a smarter child.
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