Infant Cognitive Development

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Most scientists believed that Infants ate, cried, and slept but did not learn yet, but when Piaget became a father, he used his scientific observation on his own baby, he realized that infants are active learners, adapting to experience. Piaget called cognition in the first two years SENSORIMOTOR INTELLIGENCE. Piaget’s term for the way infants think by using their senses and motor skills. Piaget thought that at about eight months, babies understand the concept of OBJECT PERMANENCE, they realize that objects or people continue to exist even when they can no longer see, touch or hear them. During the second year, infant start experimenting in deed and thoughts. They act first which is stage five and they think later which is the stage six.

When a 1-year old child take an independent action to discover the properties of other people, animals, and things. Infants not only respond to their own bodies (primary reaction) but they also start reacting to other people or objects (secondary reaction) as well. (Berger,2017) Piaget called the stage five toddler as a LITTLE SCIENTIST who experience in order to see. The stage five toddler experiments without being worried about the results, they make errors in active and creative exploration.

According to the research by developmentalists, many infants reach the stage of sensorimotor intelligence earlier than Piaget predicted. A five-month old doesn’t only get surprised when objects disappear but babies younger than 1-year actually pretend and have different imagination. There is several ways of measuring brain activity that allow scientist to record infant cognition long before any observable evidence is found. In fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) a burst of electrical activity measured by blood flow within the brain is recorded, which indicate that the neurons are firing. This lets the researcher know that a particular stimulus has been noticed and processed.

When infant is about six months, infant can retain information for a longer time than younger babies do, with less training or reminding. Many experiments show that toddlers can transfer learning from one object or experience to another and they actually learn form people and events. One of the reason scientists underestimated memory was because they failed to learn the difference between the implicit memory and explicit memory. IMPLICIT MEMORY is memory that remains hidden until a particular stimulus brings it to mind. EXPLICIT MEMORY is memory that can be recalled on demand. Most explicit memory involves consciously learned words, data, and concept. Between six and nine months, babies repeat certain syllables such as ba-ba-ba, a vocalization called BABBLING because of the way it sounds.

In conclusion, a child’s brain and learning process starts at a very early stage of their life, young infants are active learners, they develop their understandings form objects. Infants memory is fragile but not completely absent. They learn things from their experience and people around them. 

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Infant Cognitive Development. (2021, Apr 09). Retrieved March 5, 2024 , from

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