What's Going On in There?: How the Brain And Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life
Eliot (Lise)
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Amazon Book Description

  1. A lively, thought-provoking book that charts the brain's development from conception through the crucial first five years of life.
  2. This informative book lays out all aspects of the brain's development, from the refinement of the faculties so immature at birth - touch, smell, vision, hearing, balance and motion - to the emergence of high cognitive functions such as language.
  3. It explores questions critical to every prospective parent.
    1. How much of a baby's development is genetically ordained?
    2. How much is determined by the environment?
    3. Is there anything parents can do to make their babies' brains work better?

Inside Cover Blurb
  1. Life begins with the miracle of conception, a cellular reaction that creates a unique human being. Although the brain has 100 billion nerve cells at birth, new-borns are capable of little beyond the most vital functions like breathing and sucking. The infant's ability to see, hear, touch, smell and taste is primitive. Higher cognitive functions like attention, reasoning, language and conscious memory are absent because babies' brain cells are only poorly connected. What firms up these connections are the experiences and stimulation the baby receives in the critical first five years.
  2. While every child is born with the capacity for higher thinking, how fully the brain and mind develops is determined in equal measure by genetics and by the richness of the environment surrounding the child. This is true of all environments, both rational and emotional — cuddling, touching, comforting, bouncing, hugging, smiling, soothing, talking and playing are as vital as mental stimulation. Every aspect of a child's evolving brain can be affected by the quality of the world to which he or she is exposed.
  3. What's going on in there? demonstrates the innumerable ways in which parents can actually help children develop better brains. Throughout this remarkable book, copious examples featuring real children help us to understand not only the science but also the reality of how and why infants' brains develop as they do. Most importantly, we discover how vital is the experience that parents and carers provide to the quality of that development.
  4. Lise Eliot is a neurobiologist and assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the Chicago Medical School. A graduate of Harvard, 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.

  1. Nature or Nurture? It's All in the Brain
  2. The Basic Biology of Brain Development
  3. Prenatal Influences on the Developing Brain
  4. How Birth Affects the Brain
  5. The Importance of Touch
  6. Why Babies Love to Be Bounced: The Precocious Sense of Balance and Motion
  7. The Early World of Smell
  8. Taste, Milk, and the Origins of Food Preference
  9. Wiring Up the Visual Brain
  10. How Hearing Evolves
  11. Motor Milestones
  12. Social-Emotional Growth
  13. The Emergence of Memory
  14. Language and the Developing Brain
  15. How Intelligence Grows in the Brain
  16. Nature, Nurture, and Sex Differences in Intellectual Development
  17. How To Raise a Smarter Child

Book Comment
  • Allen Lane (30 Mar. 2000)
  • Second copy - paperback - given to Becky

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2023
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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