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by Lise Eliot, Ph.D.
Each of our senses as well as higher cognitive functions like reasoning and language are shown to be affected by the experience that parents and carers give to children during the first five years of life. This work describes in detail how the child's brain and mind develop during this period.
Recent studies on brain function and growth have opened the way to discovering what is going on in an infant's mind and reinvigorated the nature/nurture debate. The Human Genome Project promises a blueprint for every individual, but these exciting genetic discoveries, says neuroscientist Lise Eliot, also raises the alarming tendency to think there is little we can do to influence a child's fate, that it is all a matter of heredity. We are the product of "a delicate dance between genes and environment", but while genes programme the "sequence" of neural development, its "quality" is shaped at every turn by experience. In this book, Eliot charts the way a child's brain evolves and the implications this has for emerging mental skills: sensation, movement, emotion, memory, language and intelligence. Featuring copious observations of real children, "Early Intelligence" highlights the positive steps parents, carers and educators can take to make the child's early years a rich experience, the benefits of which will carry through to adulthood.
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