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What's Going on in There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life Paperback – Oct 3 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (Oct. 3 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553378252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553378252
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.6 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Though not for the impatient, What's Going on in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life will undoubtedly make you a better parent. It is thick, detailed, and scientific. But it is also accessible to parents who have the time and patience to immerse themselves in the latest research on brain development. And for those who do, the rewards can be great.

You'll understand the inner workings of the brain like never before. You'll learn the latest thinking on the nature vs. nurture question. You'll gain invaluable insights into the evolution of the senses, motor skills, social and emotional growth, memory, language, and intelligence. But most importantly, you'll understand--maybe for the first time--exactly how great your contribution as a parent can be to the development of your young child's brain. Written by Lise Eliot, Ph.D., a neurobiologist and mother of three, What's Going on in There? is an immensely intelligent labor of love. It is based on the author's own "odyssey of discovery" as she sought answers to questions about her own role in carrying, delivering, and parenting her children. --Kelley Smith --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

With impressive depth and clarity, Eliot, a neuroscientist and mother of three, offers a comprehensive overview of current scientific knowledge about infant and early childhood brain development. Beginning with a richly detailed yet accessible tour of the growing embryo, she guides the reader through the sensory, motor, emotional and cognitive systems as they develop. She builds up a versatile toolbox of scientific concepts and vocabulary as she goes, outlining entire neuroscientific subfields with remarkable efficiency. Along the way, Eliot presents research results on almost every conceivable topic of interest to the curious parent, from the potential dangers of VHF exposure in utero to sex differences in olfaction after birth (females have a better sense of smell than males), to the fascinating possibility that birth is triggered by a hormonal cascade in the baby's brain. While Eliot does not scruple to offer parenting advice where she finds it appropriate (e.g., she advocates breast-feeding), she meticulously avoids comment on thornier social and ethical issues. Her neutral tone can be disturbing at times, as when she admits positive correlations between socio-economic status and IQ or details Nobel prize-winning research into binocularity that involved sewing kittens' eyes shut at birth, without reference to animal rights objections. Eliot's confidence in the open-minded interest of her readers makes this a good bet for scientifically oriented parents who want to grasp how a child's mind develops. All in all, this is popular science at its best. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is for the parent who wants to know all the "Whys." I have identical twins, so it is very interesting to me to see why their personalities might be different. Identical twins are used in many experiments, so I found this book especially interesting. My mother-in-law is also a pschologist and did many "experiements" with my husband (wish they had video cameras back then -- would have been neat to see). :) My husband and I have always been fascinated with child development since our children were born. This answered all our questions!
It is a very technical, detailed book, but it is not too far over an average parent's head to get something out of it. I did find myself skipping over some of the parts that got bogged down in details (I just want to get to the point sometimes), but I would get the main idea. My husband and I found this book while searching for a more scientific book on brain development. We were watching a series on TLC that showed different experiements done with children and when children acquire specific skills and why. We tried finding it again without success, so we searched for a book instead. You can find tons of books that tell you when your child should do what, but they don't tell why and what is really going on in their heads. This book will explain all that!! You will even learn things like why toddlers should drink whole milk until the age of 2! It is broken up into the different senses as well as being chronological, which I found really easy to follow.
This will definitely make you a better parent. As an educator myself, I find it fascinating just to have the knowledge, and I feel it is important for all parents to have this knowledge.
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Format: Paperback
It is a very comprehensive book. No doubt about it.
But now imagine that you have one-week-old baby that requires your attention
and these 544 pages of medical information about how neurons grow, and axons connect
and how "this" works that you can't even repeat without looking at it again.
This book has a lot of information. And this is a good book in this sense.
But I got bogged down in it. I simply didn't have time to make use of it.
I wanted a book, which would tell me "what" should be done
and a short and clear explanation "why".
So I believe this book has probably 30-40% more information than you actually need.
Or my advice is - read the book BEFORE you had a child.
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Format: Paperback
If you are pregnant or thinking about starting a family I definitely recommend that you buy What's Going on in There? by Lise Eliot. This book is very informative and should be eccential to your prenatal (and even post-natal) reading. Eliot ia a neurobiologist and a mother of three, so not only does she provide more than enough scientific information but she supplies plenty of personal anecdotes involing her children.
Unlike most books of this sort that divide the book into ages (0-3 months), Eliot divides her book into developmental stages from start(in uetero) to finish (postnatal) and head to toe. Therefore she will discuss a certain developmental task a chapter but in that chapter covers that development from emergence to completion, which in some cases spans several years. At first you might think that a book that is well over 500-pages on child development a bit hefty but in alll actuality it is quite an easy read. That being said I studied molecular/cell bio in college so because of my background education this book was a lot easier to read. Does one have to be and expert in biology in order to understand this book, I don't think so. Eliot presents her views and scientific evidence in a strait forward manner that anyone that has had high school biology should be able to understand.
The Chapters are as Follows:
(1) Nature vs Nurture?
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Format: Paperback
This is a great resource for parents (and parents-to-be) wanting to understand the development of a baby's brain and how it affects behaviour, physical development, first movements, nature vs nurture, personality, etc. Lots of facts and information. I found it particularly helpful when my first child was about a month old as it helped me better understand what she might be thinking or why she was behaving a certain way due to the physical changes she was going through. The book is written in a much more objective way than other books I have read and I liked that it would present the information, sometimes from various points of view, and allow the reader to make their own conclusions. I wished I had gotten this book while I still pregnant! As a new mother, I found the number of books on child development overwhelming and with the number of different "methods" being touted, I eventually decided that I was just going to read this book to try to get a better understanding on what is going on in my baby's brain as a guide and then do the best that I can with that knowledge. Great book!
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