Oct, 15 2012
Cognitive Development via different means
“Brain is wider than the sky; brain is deeper than the sea”, says the narrator in the video, Secret Life of the Brain. Flexible and adaptable, child’s brain has twice as many neuron connections as that of the adolescence. The environmental influence plays a huge role in the early intellectual development. For instance, certain cadence or rhyme of words stimulates the auditory sensor of a fetal. Such mechanism has strong correlation to a child’s long-term memory derived during the prenatal stage. Psychologist further emphasizes the significance of the early development, assuming that the first one to three years are pivotal period in a child’s mental development because of the rapid growth of brain synapses. With such theory, believers have suggested infants to have abundant amount of mental stimulations and critical experiences to enrich child’s mental capacity. This idea of producing a “baby genius” has exaggerated and oversimplified the concept of early cognitive development because the brain grows continually in all throughout the childhood and the synapse develops even into the later years (Tavris, Carole.). The early cognitive development is worthy of discussion because of its overarching influences in an individual’s life. The cognitive development is a complex concept which becomes evident through the development of emerging cognitive behavior, language, and higher cognitive function.
In the early year of the infants, the development of emerging cognitive behaviors becomes evident. The abilities to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste play as a fundamental tools to enrich child’s experiences. Babies learn to distinguish shadows, lights and the voices of their moms and the other woman. By 4 to 6 months of age, infants become conscious of their name and other rudimentary words, such as “mama”, or “mammy”. Through the birth to the age of two, which the psychologist, Piaget, coined the term as the sensorimotor stage, child gradually becomes familiar with the idea of the object permanence, which the object continues to exist even when it cannot be seen or touch it. Enjoying peekaboo, children at the sensorimotor stage are gradually assimilating the concept of object permanence. During the preoperational stage, which accounts the age between two to seven, child demonstrates difficulty in understanding the idea of conservation. For instance, a child was unable to tell whether the amount of liquid stayed the same when the liquid was poured into a thinner container, shaping the liquid into a longer form. Furthermore, a child tends to have an egocentric view, which a child sees the world only from their point-of-view, disregarding the other’s perspective. For example, when a child was asked to identify the various figures in the plastic model of a forest, he was only able to identify figures that were located before him. Then, he exchanged a seat with the person sitting opposite to him and went through the same procedure; however, he failed to take account of the other’s view of the forest. Piaget asserts that by the concrete operational stage, a child manages to understand the concept of conservation and perspective of other’s . This theory, although seems quite compelling, is not so accurate in that it limits a child’s cognitive growth in a certain stage at a certain age. In the current views of the cognitive development, child’s intellectual ability grows in a continuous and overlapping experience. Furthermore, the theory greatly underestimates the actual intellectual ability of a child. A child tends to show far more advanced level of thinking than what Piaget assumed (Tavris, Carole.). Lastly, the influence of a child’s culture and social life further diversifies the extent of the early cognitive development. The development of the emerging cognitive...