What's Going On In There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life

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What's Going On In There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life

by Lise Eliot

Random House Publishing Group | October 3, 2000 | Trade Paperback |

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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:

        how a baby''s brain is "assembled" from scratch
the critical prenatal factors that shapebrain development
how the birthing process itself affects the brain
which forms of stimulation are most effective at promoting cognitive development
how boys'' and girls'' brains develop differently
how nutrition, stress, and other physical and social factors can permanently affect a child''s brain


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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 544 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.18 in

Published: October 3, 2000

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553378252

ISBN - 13: 9780553378252

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– More About This Product –

What's Going On In There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life

by Lise Eliot

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 544 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.18 in

Published: October 3, 2000

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553378252

ISBN - 13: 9780553378252

Read from the Book

Nature or Nurture? It''s All in the Brain Wouldn''t you know it? Just as I get this beautiful, healthy neuron filled with dye and ready to image, Julia wakes up and starts crying. The experiment takes a long time to set up; I''ve been at it most of the day and need just ten more uninterrupted minutes. She has been so cooperative--sleeping like a baby (a nine-week-old, to be exact) in her cozy, blanket-lined computer box, safe and secure near my desk in the darkened laboratory. Finally, all the conditions are right: the microscopic neuron, vividly fluorescing down to its tiniest branches, an electrode carefully implanted to measure its electrical activity. I''m about to stimulate the cell''s input pathway, to test whether it will "learn" from simulated sensory experience--when of course, Julia wakes up and wants to be fed. What the heck. I pick her up, hike up my shirt, and start nursing, all the while twiddling dials with my free left hand. "Take off the holding current," I tell myself. "Set the extracellular voltage, configure the data acquisition, and then go!" The pulse goes out, the neuron fires a lovely train of electrical potentials, and the cell fills with calcium, color-coded, on the computer screen, with red for the most intense spots, yellow in between, and blue for the "cold" spots--distant branches that don''t seem to have many pores for calcium to flow in. It''s a great cell, an almost ideal experiment, until Julia suddenly
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From the Publisher

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:

        how a baby''s brain is "assembled" from scratch
the critical prenatal factors that shapebrain development
how the birthing process itself affects the brain
which forms of stimulation are most effective at promoting cognitive development
how boys'' and girls'' brains develop differently
how nutrition, stress, and other physical and social factors can permanently affect a child''s brain


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.

From the Jacket

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:
how a baby''s brain is "assembled" from scratch
the critical prenatal factors that shapebrain development
how the birthing process itself affects the brain
which forms of stimulation are most effective at promoting cognitive development
how boys'' and girls'' brains develop differently
how nutrition, stress, and other physical and social factors can permanently affect a child''s brain

Brilliantly blending cutting-edge science with a mother''swisdom 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.

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.

From Our Editors

Dr. Lise Eliot describes the brain's development from conception through age five, teaching parents and caregivers how to improve children's potential. Newborns' sensual capacities are primitive. They are incapable of higher cognitive functions and their brain cells are weakly connected. The baby's experiences and stimulation during the first vital months and years help build connections. The brain and mind's development depend equally on nature and nurture. Cuddling, smiling, talking and playing provide vital mental stimulation for babies. Using examples of real children, What's Going on in There? reveals how and why infants brains' develop as they do and how to enhance their development.

Editorial Reviews

"With impressive depth and clarity, Eliot...offers a comprehensive overview of current scientific knowledge about infant and early childhood brain development...Popular science at its best."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
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