August 8, 2005

Newsweek: Baby Brains Should Be Smarter Sooner = Harvard Off The List As Early As 10 Wks

Newsweek's cover story is about advances in cognitive development in infants which show that babies are far more capable of emotion, memory, and analytical processing than was ever thought possible.

In that zombie-like stimulus-response phase when we think they don't have a personality, and they don't know who we are or what we're saying, well, guess what? It turns out if they're not learning Mandarin or identifying individual chimpanzees at a glance, they're probably already figuring out whose fault it'll be when they don't get into Harvard 18 years from now.

Researchers are talking about key "emotional milestones" that infants should be monitored for which can show either normal development or early signs of possibile disabilities and even the 'a' word: autism.

One psychiatry professor at GWU--who figures new parents don't have enough anxiety as it is--puts it this way:

"I'd like to see doctors screen babies for these milestones and tell parents exactly what to do if their babies are not mastering them. One of our biggest problems now is that parents may sense intuitively that something is not right," but by the time they are able to get their child evaluated, "that family has missed a critical time to, maybe, get that baby back on track."

Reading Your Baby's Mind
[newsweek]

3 Comments

A lot of the stuff seems kind of common sense to parents, although it backs up suspicions we may have had with actual data.

My favourite bit was where they mentioned the bit about kids learning Mandarin, and mentioned that the ones who got the TV version instead of live Mandarin speakers got zip out of it. So long, massive educational video propaganda machine!

(Reminds me, while you're doing your flurry of posts on Japan, you should look into the Disney English video scam that's been going on there... paranoid parents have been paying $3000-6000 for a bunch of videos and books that they "have to" buy so their kids won't get behind in English.)

yeah it seems like a good policy is to never underestimate your children, no matter what so-called research may say.

[no kidding, the earlier you figure that out the better. but they'll still keep freaking you out with what they pick up on. -ed]

My fourteen month old son just started putting his fingers together for the itsy bitsy spider song. Is that a milestone! Oooohhh, I hope so! Stanford, here we come!

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