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Cognitive Development In Infants Essay

1893 words - 8 pages

This paper is going to carry out a literature review on cognitive development in infants. The paper will review cognitive development in infants at different stages. Effects of early experience on mental development in infants will also be discussed. The research question and the hypothesis of the research will also be given.
Keywords: infants, development, experience

Cognitive Development in Infants
Introduction
Advancement made in regard to cognitive neuroscience has enabled a better understanding of the cognitive processes in infants. Studies have indicated that cognitive development in infants starts before they are born. In the eighth week of pregnancy, fetuses have the ability to hear. They become accustomed to their mothers’ voice and voices of close family members, fetuses also have the ability of listening to music. After they are born, millions of neurons interconnect in their brain, which enable them to think and learn. Scientists have established that experiences of infants in terms of touch, sight and perception in the first years of their existence, has the potential of affecting their brain development in the later years (Goswami, 1993, p. 157). This literature review is going to examine cognitive development in infants and how early experiences affects cognitive development.
Cognitive Development in Infants
Cognitive development is a term used to refer to the process through which infants or children develop language, thinks, gain knowledge, and solve problems. For example, when infants identify colors or differentiate things, they are performing cognitive tasks. Infants normally learn through interactions with objects and people, in addition to their senses. When infants interact with their world and grow, they undergo various stages of cognitive development. The first stage of cognitive development in infants is the sensorimotor stage. This stage lasts from birth to twelve months. In this stage, infants gain knowledge about their surrounding by using their senses. (Clarke-Stewart, Gruber, & Fitzgerald, 2007, p. 154). They recognize the faces of their caregivers and may respond to smiles. At these stage infants are generally attracted to bright colors, and show response to sound by turning towards the direction of the sound. Studies have indicated that infants between the ages of three and seven weeks have the ability to recognize shapes and pictures of human faces (Goswami, 1994, p. 376).
Researchers have also investigated the development of working memory in infants. It has been established that working memory, that is, the ability to retain information in the brain increases with age. Infants aged five to seven months were found to be unable to retain more than three objects in their working memory. Fifty percent of infants aged twelve months had developed the capacity to retain more than three objects in their working memory. Studies have also indicated that at the age of six months, infants have the ability to...

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