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The primary source for the research work is the book The First Three Years & Beyond by Edward Ziggler, Matia Finn-Stevenson and Nancy Wilson Hall. The book has a focus on the brain development in children. Its focus makes it relevant to the topic under study. It covers the brain development in children under the age of five. This makes it accurate and relevant for study.
Baby vision is comparatively different from that of adult human beings. In fact, the vision of the newborn babies is 40 per cent accurate compared to that of the adults. Despite this aspect about the babies, they are still capable of following patterns in the room. The sense of vision is one of the most developed sense in babies.
The limitations in terms of accuracy of vision does not hinder the ability of the babies to perceive matter and understand it in the most adept manner. In order to understand the baby’s visual development, one can present them with a pattern (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45). The eyes will focus on the pattern and follow it. Interestingly, the babies are still capable of forming an opinion on the patterns that they like and the ones that they do not. Infants do not have the frustration on what they can or cannot see (Lenroot and Giedd, 718-729). On the contrary, their visual development is dependent on their ability to process the images and light sensors that process them.
Infant brains are more focused on the processing of faces. The infants often focus on anything that has an assumption of a face. This is an observation that was for long deemed part of the dreaming of the parents. However, previous studies have indicated that the infants have an inclination to study face more than any other forms. The trend is common even in babies that are just a few days old (Janigro, 20-98). The discovery is a little puzzling since the infants brains’ are not as well developed. In most of the cases, infants are more responsive to touch than to any other sensory reception. The possibility of the babies to focus on a complex aspect such as a face is puzzling.
There is a physical basis for ogling tendencies by the babies. The babies can processes faces at the age of four months with the same accuracy that the adults can. This is the case even as the other images are being processed at comparatively lower levels in the visual system. The explanation for this phenomenon could be the need for the children to process images of the people that they know before they can proceed to higher levels of processing whereby they will know the people by their names (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45).
The need to know the people around them comes from the natural and evolutionary trait whereby the animals have to scan their surroundings. Just like the animals, human beings start with scanning of the environment in order to assess its suitability (Klingberg, 1-100). The babies develop their face recognition since it helps in the identification of the people that they interact with on the daily basis.
A noninvasive study of the electrical activity generated in the infant’s brains indicted that the babies had more recognition of the people that they were around compared to the other images or patterns (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45). The experiment entailed measurement of the steady visual potentials. These spikes in the brain’s level of activity are elicited by stimulation of the visual senses. The attachment of the sensors can indicate recognition of the images (Klingberg, 1-100).
The babies are the experimental group while the adults are control experiments. Oddly, the babies elicit some level of reaction to the images being flashed in front of them as the adults. The lapse in the reaction to the stimuli is only minimal (Janigro, 20-98). This indicates the perceptions of the babies as far as face images are concerned is higher than other sensory receptions since the babies are capable or recognizing the faces or images of the faces better. Their recognition of the faces is better than even the recognition of the multicolored patterns.
The same experiment when conducted using patterns and images of the processes indicates different results. The babies are less capable of identifying the images compared to the faces. There is a wide reception to the other images compared to the reaction to the images of faces. The baby’s brains indicate high reception in parts of the brains that are responsible for the identification of the faces (Klingberg, 1-100).
The reaction of the brain is similar to that of the adults. The same level of reaction to the stimuli manifests in the temporal lobe in both the babies and adults alike. The disparity indicates that the babies are not experts in the reception of the faces (Bangalore, 1-45). However, it also points to the fact that they are on their way to the understanding of the faces. The progression towards the understanding of the images is higher and faster compared to reaction to the other images.
Exposure of babies to objects and other images apart from those of the face led to the development of a different reaction in a different part of the brain. The reaction to the objects took place in the occipital lobe (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45). This is part of the brain that is devoted to the processing of the more basic visual feature. The research cannot establish whether the reaction to the faces is because of the continued exposure to images of the faces or it is intrinsic. However, given the prevalence of the reaction in babies, the reaction could be a part of the evolution meant to recognize the kind and kin (Lenroot and Giedd, 718-729).
The reaction to different faces was also coupled with the fact that the babies associated different faces with rewards. The babies were capable of recognizing their mother since they associated the face with the reward of breast milk on any other form of feeding. Therefore, the recognition systems in the babies are controlled by the relationships and the effects of the same on them (Klingberg, 1-100). If the relationship leads to some sort of enjoyment such as play or feeding, they are most likely to react to the person in a predetermined manner indicating acceptance and accommodation.
In some babies, the development of the capability is hampered by some occurrences in the course of their development in the womb or shortly after their birth. For instance, deprivation of oxygen to the babies shortly after they are born may lead to the development of struggles with the recognition of faces (Janigro, 20-98). This is a lifelong experience. Difficulties with the recognition of faces can also arise from any form of trauma to the brain after their birth. Atypical early development of the recognition areas in the brain may also lead to the conditions.
The baby’s brain requires that there is a high level of interaction with the environment. The interactions include touching and other opportunities to interact and relate with the rest of the people. The interactions of the babies with the environment determines their development into well-adjusted adults (Bangalore, 1-45). The development of the well-rounded babies are not only psychological but also neurological.
The brain requires the interaction with the sensory stimuli in order for it to develop in the most adequate manner. The myriad of neurons in the brain of the babies are active. However, their development has to be nurtured by the environment and interactions (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45). Visual perceptions mark some of the interactions of the babies with the environment.
At the time of birth, the focus of the brain in terms of the visual perception is highly limited. The babies are incapable of understanding the images that they see since they are like poorly focused photos (Klingberg, 1-100). The visual perception is one of the latest abilities in the babies to develop. They have to rely on the other sensory organs such as the touch and sense of hearing in order for them to interact with the environment. Primitive nature of the vision comes because of the limited use of this function apart from scanning the environment.
Interactions of the babies with the environment form basis for the thinking process, behaviors and feelings that the baby will possess in the entire life. The connections with the environment form at a faster rate than in the other stages of development. The adaptation of the brain of child to the visual stimuli is high in the formative years (Bangalore, 1-45).
The visual receptors have to take in as much as possible. The information observed is stored in the accessible part of the brain and the subconscious. Connections with the environment decreases as the child grows older (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45). The brain of a child is constantly changing and adapting to the new environment with each moment.
The development of the brain of the child is different. Contrary to the common approach that dictates that the development of the brain is attained by the addition of new connections, the brain’s activity is dependent on the strengthening of the connections that count (Klingberg, 1-100).
On one hand, the development of the children’s brains depends on the biological aspects. Biological aspects are dependent on the time, nutrition and genetically make up. Therefore, little adjustments can be made to the brain in this respect. The only way is working with the inherent capabilities of the child (Janigro, 20-98).
Nature of a child is not the only aspect that determines the development. On the contrary, the development of the brain depends on the exposure. As along as the child is exposed to a certain visual stimuli or any other kind of stimuli, there brain engages in the process of pruning. Pruning entails the selection of the stimuli that counts. The other connections that are not as important are allowed to lapse (Bangalore, 1-45). Pruning focuses on the elimination of the brain processes that are not contributory to the general well being of the person.
Pruning process in terms of the brain connections functions in the same manner as pruning of a tree. The removal of the connections that do not add value to the tree leads to the increased production of the parts of the brain that are of value (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45). In this case, the brain focuses on the removal of the connections that are not important.
In the case of the visual perception, there are some perceptions that do not add value to the entire system. In this case, the visual perceptions are categorized as unimportant and subsequently removed. Facial recognition is important (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45). Therefore, the brain selects to sustain the processes of perception used in the recognition of the faces.
For example, language is an important function of the brain. However, its establishment does not become permanent until the age of 12 (Lenroot and Giedd, 718-729). In this case, any injury on the part of the brain responsible for the development of language will lead to the connection to other parts of the brain in order to develop the language capabilities (Bangalore, 1-45). However, development of language is dependent on the biological processes. There lapse of the time for the development of a certain perception will lead to the permanent loss of the capability.
Experience is also an important determinant in the outcome of the brain processes. In the event that any experience is processed by the brain, the information regarding the experience will be stored in the brain (Klingberg, 1-100). Storage of the experience leads to the development of the connection. An experience could be anything that requires the application of the five senses (Bangalore, 1-45).
In the event that the baby is exposed to all the stimuli for the five common senses, the likelihood for the development of the strengthening of the connection will occur (Reiss et al., 1963-1774). In the event that the babies are kept in a dark room whereby they will not be able to see other people, they are likely to lose their ability to process the information that comes in form of visual stimuli. The brain automatically prunes the connection to the visual interpretation (Zigler, Finn-Stevenson, and Wilson, 37-45).
In the event that the babies are visually impaired, they develop ways of communication that do not leverage on the ability to see. Therefore, the experiences of the children during their formative ages is important. This could explain the focus on the development of all the capabilities even in the design of toys and clothes (Bangalore, 1-45). Children can show their liking from the clothes to people to toy using their visual aids irrespective of the level of development. One just has to give them the experience to explore their capabilities (Lenroot and Giedd, 718-729
Bangalore, Lakshmi. Brain Development. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2007. Print.
Janigro, Damir. Mammalian Brain Development. New York: Humana Press, 2009. Print.
Klingberg, Torkel. The Learning Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.
Lenroot, Rhoshel K., and Jay N. Giedd. "Brain development in children and adolescents: insights from anatomical magnetic resonance imaging." Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 30.6 (2006): 718-729.
Reiss, Allan L., et al. "Brain development, gender and IQ in children A volumetric imaging study." Brain 119.5 (1996): 1763-1774.
Zigler, Edward, Matia Finn-Stevenson, and Nancy Wilson Hall. The First Three Years & Beyond. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. Print.
According to the article authored by Brenner and others the risk of drowning is always real in the community even among the groups of experienced swimmers. The case of reported drowning affected all the races in the same way but the class of the victims of drowning was a common denominator (Brenner & Others, 2003). In most instances reported to the authorities were affecting the middle class parents where children walked into the pools that lacked protection.
Lack of proper supervision or lack of supervision at all was a major cause of drowning in bathtubs. Proper pool protection was a major deterrent of drowning (Brenner & Others, 2003). However, in sometime it increased the risk when the users failed to use it in the right manner. The most approved way of preventing drowning in the domestic setting was to increase supervision and fencing of the pools (Brenner & Others, 2003). Proper use of the floaters or protective material when swimming in the natural water bodies improved the safety of the swimmers (Brenner & Others, 2003). Drugs users were at a high risk of drowning than the non-users.
Trends in US Pediatric Drowning Hospitalizations,1993–2008
The article that was authored by Bowman & Aitken et al. states that the chances of males drowning are higher in males than in the females due to overestimation of the swimming abilities or the use of alcohol among adolescent males. Children mainly drown while bathing or falling into the water. Older children drown in open waters compared to the young children (Bowman & Aitken et al., 2012). In each fatal injury, there is always a risk of nonfatal injuries that involve major disabilities or brain damage.
Poor protection of the pool and inadequate supervision is the main cause of drowning among children. Underlying medical conditions such as seizures may lead to drowning among the children. Failure to use protective material while swimming also adds to the risk of drowning (Bowman & Aitken et al., 2012). Efforts to protect the swimming pools at home and the use of lifeguards has led to the decrease of deaths related to accidental drowning.
Bowman, S. M., Aitken, M. E., Robbins, J. M. & Baker, S. P. (2012). Trends in us pediatric drowning hospitalizations, 1993--2008. Pediatrics, 129 (2), pp. 275--281.
Brenner, R. A. & Others (2003). Prevention of drowning in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics, 112 (2), pp. 440--445.
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