“Have you ever wondered ‘what is going on inside their head?’” This question from the movie ‘Inside Out’ has no doubt gone through many people’s minds while watching children or teenagers. The way to answer it is to take a look into the field of psychology. Through developmental psychology, we can see some common behaviors in babies, children, and teenagers.
Information in this paper will show how the brain of an infant develops in the womb, and then how he or she develops outside the womb. From there, the information will progress onto the brain development of children, the steps of their development, what developmental skills they learn, and how it changes their personality. After that, this report will turn onto the topic of teenagers and their behavior due to development, and how it compares to adults.
The brain of an infant starts to be constructed around the fifth week of pregnancy. The first part of brain development starts when neurons invade certain places of the brain and proceed to develop various senses. Touch is the fastest sense to develop. After growing in the womb for a month or so, a baby can experience touch on its nose and lips, and after 12 months, the sense of touch is fully developed. At the halfway point of a pregnancy, babies are able to smell and hear. At this point, whatever they smell or hear they will remember very accurately. For example, there was a conductor who was about to practice conducting a new song with an orchestra. Once he started and the cellist started to play, he instantaneously knew the rest of the piece and did not have to look at the notes once to continue conducting the piece he had never conducted before. Later, he talked to his mother, a cellist, about the experience. She asked him what piece it was that he played, and after he told her, she burst into laughter. She explained to him that that was the piece she had practiced on her cello while she was pregnant with him.
However simple this developing process may seem, it is not. It is extremely fragile. Simple things such as diet, lifestyle, health, the level of anxiety and depression that a mother has can all affect the state of a child's physical and mental development and the rest of his or her life.
The mind of an infant is mysterious. No one knows what they feel, how they perceive the world and our guesses of these things are never identical. We don’t know if they have any understanding of the world originally or if they learn it all. However, there are some things scientists are able to deduce. Scientists figured out a way to accurately gauge the future IQ of an infant. They do it by placing an infant in front of a checkerboard. If they stare at it longer, they have a higher IQ. This technique sounds quite unusual, but it was proven to be true since the babies who looked at the board longer had higher IQs when they were older, and the babies who looked at it for a shorter amount of time had a lower IQ.
Another thing scientists have discovered is that depending on the time of year a baby is conceived, it can affect its personality. For instance, if a baby is conceived in the fall when people tend to have more melatonin in them, the child will more likely be shy and vulnerable as adults.
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