A child’s rapid cognitive development begins from the earliest ages and may continue into young adulthood. Before they can talk, tots are learning how the world works and how they can apply that knowledge. “Test Subjects in Diapers,” by Gisa Aschersleben, reveals how quickly infants learn to think critically--and the ways in which scientists can “ask” babbling babies to show what they know.
Knowledge about a child’s rapid mental development also serves to emphasize the importance of early intervention in cases where children have special needs. Articles in the issue explore faster detection of disorders and possible therapies for children with autism, ADHD and Down syndrome.
When does the brain finish “growing up”? Many neuroscientists say that cognitive development, especially in areas of the brain that are associated with decision making and other “executive” functions, continues into the second decade of life, reports Leslie Sabbagh in “The Teen Brain, Hard at Work.” Meanwhile psychologist Robert Epstein warns against excess reductionism in applying imaging studies of teen and adult brains to complex human behaviors. We blame teen turmoil on immature brains--but, he asks, did the brains cause the turmoil, or did the turmoil affect the brains?
As you page through the articles in the issue, we hope one thing will be clear: as we learn more about how the mind operates, we are better able to help children grow up to lead happy, fulfilling lives.
Big Answers from Little People by David Dobbs
Test Subjects in Diapers by Gisa Aschersleben
Detecting Autism Early by Ulrich Kraft
Broken Mirrors: A Theory of Autism by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Lindsay M. Oberman
Mindful of Symbols by Judy S. DeLoache
Informing the ADHD Debate by Aribert Rothenberger and Tobias Banaschewski
Just a Bit Different by Ingelore Moeller
Stopping the Bullies by Mechthild Schaefer
The Teen Brain, Hard at Work by Leslie Sabbagh
Is the Teen Brain Too Rational? by Valerie F. Reyna and Frank Farley
The Myth of the Teen Brain by Robert Epstein
Train Your Brain by Ulrich Kraft
Circuit Training by Kaspar Mossman
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