I’ve recently read What’s Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Lifeby Lise Eliot, a neuroscientist and a mother of two. I wanted to know how I can help my son maximize his capacity to learn and this book had glowing reviews on Amazon.
From conception to 5 years old, the book details what neuroscience research has found about the developing brain. Essentially, the brain creates an overproduction of neural synapses at birth and works in a “use it or lose it” method. This allows the brain to focus its resources on synapses that are primarily used. The excerpt below describes how synaptic pruning works as children develop.
“By overproducing synapses, the brain forces them to compete, and just as in evolution or the free market, competition allows for selection of the “fittest” or most useful synapses. ”
The book is highly informative and a good resource for parents to aid and understand how their children’s brain develop. The book is not categorized by age group but rather by topics. Here are the chapters in the book.
Chapter 1 Nature or Nuture? It’s All in the Brain
Chapter 2 The Basic Biology of Brain Development
Chapter 3 Prenatal Influences on the Developing Brain
Chapter 4 How Birth Affects the Brain
Chapter 5 The Importance of Touch
Chapter 6 Why Babies Love to be Bounced: The Precocious Sense of Balance and Motion
Chapter 7 The Early World of Smell
Chapter 8 Taste, Milk, and the Orgins of Food Preference
Chapter 9 Wiring Up the Visual Brain
Chapter 10 How Hearing Evolves
Chapter 11 Motor Milestones
Chapter 12 Social Emotional Growth
Chapter 13 The Emergence of Memory
Chapter 14 Language and the Developing Brain
Chapter 15 How Intelligence Grows in the Brain
Chapter 16 Nature, Nurture, and Sex Differences in Intellectual Development
Chapter 17 How to Raise a Smarter Child