Welcome to Your Child's Brain

How the Mind Grows From Conception to College

by Sandra Aamodt , Sam Wang

Number of pages: 336

Publisher: Bloomsbury

BBB Library: Parenting

ISBN: 9781606712603

About the Authors

Sandra Aamodt : Aamodt is a former editorــinــchief of Nature Neuroscience. During her career,


Sam Wang : Wang is an associate professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. He


Editorial Review

How children think is one of the most enduring mysteries—and difficulties—of parenthood. The marketplace is full of gadgets and tools that claim to make your child smarter, happier, or learn languages faster, all built on the premise that manufacturers know something about your child's brain that you don't. These products are easy to sell, because good information about how children's minds really work is hard to come by. In their new book, neuroscientists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang separate fact from fiction about the inner workings of young minds. Martialing results from new studies and classic research, Aamodt and Wang provide the most complete answers out there on this subject. It liberates readers from superstitions and speculation, such as Freud's idea that all relationships are modeled on one's mother, or that it's not safe to eat sushi while pregnant. And it will reveal new truths about everything from how to make your baby sleep, to why we love to snuggle, to how children learn, forget, play, talk, walk, and feel. Welcome to Your Child's Brain is eye-opening and necessary, soon to become a staple for parents and children alike.

Book Reviews

"This is a diverting piece of popular science on the way children's brains develop, from embryo to university student."Independent

"Welcome to Your Child’s Brain is worth the reading time. You will be amazed at what current neuroscience knows about your child!"Word Press

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Wisdom to Share

Parents concerned about academic achievement might do well to focus on building their children’s self-control ability and social skills.

One approach we don’t recommend is offering a dessert as reward for finishing dinner. The urge to consume foods that contain calories is a powerful motivator, as confirmed both by our everyday experience and by behavioral experiments.

Just consuming a food multiple times is sufficient to reduce negative reactions. Infant taste is particularly plastic during the first few months.

You may remember the first time your baby smiled back at you. His ability to recognize emotions in other people’s faces develops almost as early as his ability to show facial expressions.

All of us have experienced emotions that seemed overwhelming and out of control. Imagine feeling that way much of the time, and you have a picture of your young child’s daily experience.

Understanding that others can have false beliefs is part of normal development and appears to be unique to people.

Babies can hear before they’re born, starting around the beginning of the third trimester.

Boys continue to refuse girl-typical toys, most likely because the social penalty for acting like a girl is very steep. Both peers and parents actively discourage boys from playing with girl toys.

Toy preferences almost certainly have an innate basis.

The emergence of toy preferences is an early stage in the development of gender identity, defined as your child’s self-identification as male or female.

In general, establishing a bedtime routine, including tooth-brushing, stories, and winding down of attention paid to the child, provides a familiar landing procedure.

By nine months, familiar and unfamiliar words trigger noticeably different event-related potentials.

Word learning also starts long before babies can produce words of their own.

Word learning also starts long before babies can produce words of their own.

The timing of speech production is determined by maturation of the brain regions that control movement.

Young infants can distinguish and categorize the sounds of all languages of the world, though adults often confuse the sounds of a foreign language.

From early in life, your infant absorbs the huge amounts of information that will make him an expert in his native language, learning about its cadences, its sounds, the structures of its words, and the grammar of its sentences.

Newborn babies already prefer their mother’s voice over other female voices, their native language over other languages, and speech over other sounds that have the same acoustic properties, including speech played backward.

Complex skills require deep foundations.

Brain development requires no special training, and most children find a way to grow in whatever conditions the world has to offer them.

Children are active participants in every aspect of their own development.

Even if you never give your children a speech lesson, they are unlikely to start imitating the air conditioner or the family cat.

The developing brain builds itself.