Cognitive Development

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Cognitive Development

From a newborn baby to an eleven year old child, cognitive development is affected by both inherited genes (nature) and experiences that take place throughout our lives (nurture). The development of the human brain plays an important role in living, learning, and other skills needed throughout life. Our brain’s cognitive understanding and interpretation of information is what makes us all individuals. Though many machines or computers can perform many functions such as mathematics or language, they cannot come close to replicating the complexities that allow every individual to form the personality and emotion that makes us unique.


Watching a fetus develop from a fertilized egg is very intricate yet miraculous process. This just the beginning developmental stages of what Berger refers to as “by far the most complex structure in the known universe,” (Berger, 2005). A mother has great influence on the fetus developing inside her body including things such as emotions, diet, and everyday activities which can have both positive as well as detrimental effects. According to Berger about twenty-two percent of births are cesarean section, or C-section. I was a few weeks overdue when my mother went into labor with me. When she arrived at the hospital the doctor decided that there was some fetal distress and that my mother would have to undergo a C-section. I was born a health eight-pound four-ounce baby girl on July third. My brother was also C-section, so my mother was left with scarring over most of her lower abdomen.


The first couple years newborns develop physically and mentally at an amazing rate, unlike any other time of development during their life. Many aspects of a baby’s development form the base for life-long learning. According to Berger, the concept of plasticity of human traits, which states “personality, intellect, habits, and emotions change throughout life for a combination of reasons…” affect development (Berger, 2005, p.15).

A baby’s brain plays an important role after the baby is born. Newborns naturally cry and begin to breathe on their own. At birth babies already have more than 100 billion brain cells and their brain is about 25 percent of its adult weight. In the first two month you can see a baby’s brain developing as they begin to have purposeful eye...

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... to two different ways a child is taught to read, phonics and whole language. Phonics includes teaching reading to children by requiring them to learn the sounds of each letter before they begin to decipher simple words (Berger, 303). Whole-language teaches reading by encouraging children to develop talking, listening, reading, and writing in learning communication (Berger, 303). I remember learning how to read and how hard it was. I can recall being given a question in first grade, where we had to read about a certain situation. My said something like the firefighters just arrived on the fire truck. What will they do next? I answered that they would sit down and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I remember my teacher talking to me about my answer because I couldn’t read.

Cognitive development of the human mind is a very interesting subject, especially when you relate to personal experience. You begin to see that some of the things that happened to you over your lifetime are normal and most people experience the same situations. I believe that having this insight into the cognitive development of the human mind will definitely help me to someday understand my children.

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