- 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 23.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 680 g
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
What's Going on in There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life Paperback – Oct 3 2000
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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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This is one of those books you should write in -- underline, highlight, take notes -- because if you are indeed interested in using this information to understand your child's progressive developmental changes, you will be referring to it often. The author presents a lot of research material in accessible language and style, but the book is dense and is not a day-to-day how-to guide. You will not read about colic or how to tell a cold from the flu, but you will learn why your four-month old prefers a little salt in her mashed potatoes or why most of us can't recall anything that happened before we were three-and-a-half years old. Because there is a lot of information, this is not one of the easiest books you will ever read, but it is eminently worthwhile. The author not only synopsizes a lot of research for us, but also defines the limits of research and/or those issues which are still under debate or not yet fully understood, and discusses the evolutionary implications of various developmental changes.
A Notes section details sources so you can follow up in areas in which you're particularly interested. (With 458 Notes, I'm not sure why one reviewer criticized the book for lack of documentation.) A thorough index. This book seems to benefit as much from good editing as exemplary authorship.
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. You will learn how to stimulate your child at different ages so that his/her brain develops to its fullest. You and your child will be happier and more relaxed just having the information contained in this book.
The only regret I have is not having read it sooner! I had all the other parenting books, but I never felt fulfilled reading them. I didn't want a list of milestones, I wanted to know why they do milestones when they do. This is the only parenting book you need! I recommend reading it before your children are born, but it is never too late to read it! Mine were 2 when I got this book!
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