Cognitive Development in Childhood Paper Example

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1945 Words
Date:  2022-11-20

Sensory Development in the First Year of Life

The sensory development is a critical part of a child's development in the first year. At this time, the child develops the hearing, taste, touch, smell and sight senses. The personalities and unique preferences of these features start to show in the first twelve months and the child starts to interpret information from these senses. At birth, the hearing, touch, and smell are fully developed but the child may not use them effectively. For example, they can detect a tender touch of the skin, they can smell their mothers and they can detect sound. However, they may not determine the direction of the sound. By the age of three months, the child can also see and detect objects around them and the differences in their colors. At this age, the child may not focus on objects near them. Between the ages of 3-6 months, the child can master the direction of the sound and turn towards it (Bremner, & de Fockert, 2016). They can also follow the movement of objects close to them and move their eyes to the movement of the objects. The child starts enjoying direct eye contact and objects moving around them. They also start reacting to familiar sounds and moving towards the smell of food. At this time, they also get attached to the taste of the milk they feed on daily. They also show interest in some foods, mimicking and reaction to certain smells.

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Between the ages of 6-9 months, the child can coordinate the eyes and the hands. The child can sense the items and people who are friendly and the ones that are unfriendly. They also start to detect when there is motion and otherwise. They also use the developed sense of smell to choose the food they take. They also improve the use of their touch by grabbing with their thumbs and the forefinger. They also start reaching out for any food near them and they may also suck their thumbs. The senses are developed to a level that they can help them to make decisions (Schlosser, Musser & Arendt, 2017). The hearing can help them react to songs, their sight can help them get attracted to toys and enjoys the smell of better foods. In the last three months from 9-12 months, the child can make distant judgments, and their reaction to smell becomes stronger. Their grasping ability also improves and they prefer many toys to others. Parents are encouraged to keep the children in environments that support the development of these senses. For example, they should not be in smelly environments and in areas where there are chocking smokes. A smoking parent is a threat to the child at this age. The sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch are fully developed and the child can make the choices they find suitable to them.

Stages of Cognitive Development in Children from Birth to 7 Years

Most of the skills in children are developed from birth to the age of five to seven years. Some of these skills include pre-reading, numeracy, language and vocabulary among others. The cognitive development stages in a child are divided into different stages. According to Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, cognitive development occurs in four distinct stages. During the four stages, children develop different capabilities and behave differently (Siegler, 2016). The views of this psychologists are that cognitive development can be split into stages that spread from birth to about 12 years and above. However, according to the information processing model, the cognitive development process extends to the age of seven years. Between the ages of 2-5 years, the child develops short-term memory, attention skills, and long-term memory. Between the ages of 5-7 years, the child gains better control of the memory and information. They also gain skills to solve problems and to attain their goals. They also gain better leaning and logic skills and they can connect different ideas. They also get auditory processing skills and this helps them in reading (Lachman, Lachman, & Butterfield, 2015). The development of these features and skills may be affected by the environment in which the child grows and it is possible to have them change with the change in the environment. For example, children that grow in the urban areas may have a difference in their cognitive skills as compared to the ones that grow up in the rural areas.

In a more expanded way, the cognitive development starts with the sensorimotor stage, whereby the child learns about the world around them through touching, manipulating objects and through their other senses. The stage takes place between birth and the age of two years. After that, the preoperational stage starts and this runs from the age of two years to the age of seven years. At this age, the memory and imagination of the child develop. They can also understand things symbolically and they can also relate the current, past and future ideas (Bjorklund & Causey, 2017). As a result of these developments, children seem to plan their future and fantasize on how they imagine. It is at this age that they love different toys that are in line with their fantasy. If a child below the age of seven years is struggling with memory, reading, and attention, then it is important to find out the reasons why it is happening. It is a sign of poor development and can be improved through planned events and experiences. A doctor or specialist can be involved when the condition is extreme. Cognitive development is critical in the way the child achieves their educational goals and the reasoning they have in life in general.

Scientific Research Relating To Neurological and Brain Development in Early Years

In the early childhood years, the neurons in the brain develop to make complex workings of the brain and to help in the development of the brain. The patterns of behavior and emotional functioning are developed in this stage and the brain size increases. The scientific research relating the development of the brain shows that there are many important facts that have been developed about brain development. The existing knowledge is as a result of the research done on infants and animals. Neurulation is the first of the facts about brain development and it takes place immediately after conception. The embryo forms the neural plate that helps in the formation of the hindbrain, forebrain, and midbrain. Cells from the medulla oblongata, the cerebrum, and the pons. In a later development process called proliferation, the cells of the brain proliferate to form a marginal zone and it leads to an increase in the brain cells. In the next 25 weeks after conception, the cells of the brain migrate from their point of production to their final destination (Hazlett et al., 2017). After the cells have migrated to their final destination, they can either develop into a fully developed brain cell with axons and dendrites or they can be retracted through apoptosis. The above processes are the same in different people and they signify the very early stages in which a brain develops.

The stages are followed by the synaptogenesis stage, which refers to the point of synapse or connection between two brain cells. The process takes place within the first 23 weeks of gestation and it is followed by the pruning process. The pruning is highly dependent on the experiences that a child has and the learning process in their early life stages. The overproduced and unused synapses are pruned and this is driven by the genes. The brain development is also achieved at this stage and any unwanted cells are removed. The final stage of brain development is known as myelination and it involves the wrapping of the axons of the neurons in fatty cells to facilitate the transmission of electric signals. Myelination can extend from preschool periods to the adolescence and early adulthood (Petersen, 2017). In general, the development of the brain begins weeks after conception to early adulthood. Although most of the features of the brain are complete by early childhood, some like decision-making and emotional connections continue to early adulthood. The development process is also affected by some factors like the social environment in which the child lives. For example, poverty, repeated abuse, maternal depression, and trauma are some of the factors that can affect brain development (Hair, Hanson, Wolfe, & Pollak, 2015). The above summary shows some of the critical scientific information about neurological and brain development.

Influences of the Above Information on Practice in Early Years

The data above is effective in determining the way medical practitioners carry out their duties and the decisions they make. The first influence is that the information determines the advice that practitioners give to expectant mothers. As indicated previously, extreme poverty, trauma, and stress of the mother can affect the brain development of a child (Hair, Hanson, Wolfe, & Pollak, 2015). Therefore, the information is used to advise mothers to avoid a stressful lifestyle and to maintain good health when pregnant and when lactating. The other influence is that it affects the decision-making processes of the practitioners. For instance, when the child demonstrates a poor development of the brain, poor memory, and increased assertiveness, the doctors can practice more effective ways to make sure that they provide the best services to the child. The other influence is that the early year's settings are monitored to ensure they meet the needs of the newborn babies and young adults. The scientific research shows that brain development can be affected by the factors in the environment like harassment and bullying. The knowledge is used to create an environment in the care centers that make it possible for the brains to develop effectively. It also helps in creating effective treatment procedures. For example, for the children born with cataracts, the scientific information is used to determine the way the cataracts are removed and how this affects the acuity of their vision.

The scientific research also gives a deeper understanding of deprivation and enrichment and how they affect brain development. It is assumed that when the child is in an environment that provides more than the norms, then the brain development is different from the one brought up in a contrary environment. The other influence is on the impacts of different stimuli and how they affect the brain development process. Some stimuli can be induced intentionally and others are in the environment naturally. The ones that can be induced are explained to the relevant guardians and created to speed up brain development. For example, this data is used to develop the right environment in which a child can be brought up. In a similar way, the deprivation of certain stimuli affects the brain development and this determines the behavior that a child gains. The information on the wiring process of the brain also influences the corrective and supportive medical processes in the profession. Most of the evidence-based practices are as a result of the scientific data available. Accuracy in medical professions and psychology are influenced by the evidence in the research findings on the early development process of the human brain. It also influences the improvements made in the environments used to study other functions of the brain. Theoretical Perspectives In Relation To Cognitive Development

The theoretical aspect of the cognitive development is based mainly on the theory by Jean Piaget, the Swiss psychologist. The theory explains how a person develops from an infant to a grown up in terms of intelligence. The theory by Piaget states that a child develops through stages of infant recognition, language development, mathematical and scientific reasoning, and moral development. He stated that children are like scie...

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