Well, now I have actually only three more weeks to go before I become a dad and start getting to know the little baby that will be mine. Exciting times! As a parent in Sweden you are mandatorily bombarded with much useful info about the upcoming birth of the child, a great thing I must add. But the information is definitely shy of tantalizing facts about the baby’s brain and its biological development. Good thing that the prodigious neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer writes in the Boston Globe about recent findings in the development of the baby brain. He describes with much tenacity useful theories such as the neuronal connections of a child’s brain:
”Adults can follow directions and focus, and that’s great,” says John Colombo, a psychologist at the University of Kansas. ”But children, it turns out, are much better at picking up on all the extraneous stuff that’s going on. . . . And this makes sense: If you don’t know how the world works, then how do you know what to focus on? You should try to take everything in.” While thinking like an adult is necessary when we need to focus, or when we already know which information is relevant, many situations aren’t so clear-cut. In these instances, paying strict attention is actually a liability, since it leads us to neglect potentially important pieces of the puzzle.
So start learning like a child again, it might prove useful, hear that grown-ups?
there are a lot of great books I can recommend on the topic of the baby brain: In Swedish Babypsykologi, by Serge Ciccotti was recently published. It easlily posts 100 interesting research fields and examples of baby psychology. Great read when you have little time. In the english section Descartes’ baby – how the science of child development explains what makes us human, by Paul Bloom is a nice walkthrough of the recent developments in the field. The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind, by Alison Gopnik is great overview book, and it is also quite uniqe to be treating both the baby’s brain and mind. And to all those overachievers with children comes: Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff. It is what is sounds. Now hopefully I will test all these hypothessis in a few weeks.
Finally a crazy story from the US: ABC reports about a mysterious case with a newborn having a tumor removed from its brain, but uh, the tumor was actually a human foot!
Will the real stem cell researchers please stand up!