Jun 05 2005

What’s Going On In There

Published by at 5:39 am under Books

By Lise Eliot PHD.

Accurately subtitled “How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years Of Life”. which is all that it is about. The author is a mother and an academic neuroscientist and the strength of the book is her ability to relate observable behavioral deveopments with both parts of the brain and the brain’s development over time. And, that brain development takes a long time. More than the five years covered in this book. It is a readable book intended for a general audience of parents and is not at all a textbook.

Fascinating how the brain develops billions of cells and quadrillions of connections early on and then prunes them down to eliminate unused and unneeded pathways. An amazingly complex process. Amazing that it works as well as it does.

Lots of discussion of nature/nurture (i.e. genetics/environment) and the conclusion there is the obvious they both matter and maybe they each account for about half. Too hard to discriminate for a hard answer to appear. Also much discusssion of “average” gender differences; they are real but within the range of variability of either gender.
Sometimes it gets a little slow and tedious and some sections just didn’t interest me (e.g. all the possible situations that can cause various birth defects), but a good read. Not a gripper but very informative.

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