Postnatal Development Summary

The brain is hardwired at birth to see only one object: a human face. Needs to be exposed to it at 6-12 inches from its eyes to turn on the visual brain. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 100-104)

Is able to distinguish pitch and frequency. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. NY: Doubleday, 1987, 1989, pp 34-35)

Recognize and prefer the scent of his/her own mother. (Karen, Robert, PhD. Becoming Attached. NY: Oxford University Press, 1994, 1998, pp 40-42)

Girl babies respond to people and faces and maintain eye contact 2-3 times longer; boy babies respond to objects and their shapes. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, p 130)

Can distinguish speech patterns of its native language as compared to a foreign language. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, pp 74-75)

During first few days of life an infant can copy actions or facial gestures of adults (e.g., stick out tongue). (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. PA: Rodale, 2003, pp 34-35)

R- system begins to develop (related to instinct) and continues until about age 7. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 44-48)

Baby girls can distinguish their mother’s voice. Baby boys can’t. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, p 30)

Smiling can be observed (laughter is usually observed about a month after smiling begins). (Rose, Kenneth Jon. The Body in Time. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1988, pp 150-152)

By 2 months a baby begins to babble phrases that will result in conversation. (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. NY: A Dutton Book 1998, pp 134-135)

Babies start to laugh. (Sobel, David S., and Robert Ornstein, MD. The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook. NY: Patient Education Media, Inc., 1996, pp 49-59)

Girls are able to distinguish pictures of family members from strangers; boys cannot. Boys are better at locating a lost toy. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, p 130)

By four months of age infants differ markedly in their reactions to events around them, general mood, and activity levels. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Secret Life of the Brain. Washington D.C.: The Dana Press and Joseph Henry Press, 2001, p 32)

Babies laugh about once per hour. (Sobel, David S., and Robert Ornstein, MD. The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook. NY: Patient Education Media, Inc., 1996, pp 49-59)

Can recognize lip movements that are associated with vowel sounds. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, pp 74-75)

By 4 months of age infants differ markedly in their reactions to events around them, their general mood, and activity levels. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Secret Life of the Brain. Washington D.C.: The Dana Press and Joseph Henry Press, 2001, p 32)

By four months of age, most baby girls can distinguish photographs of people they know from photographs of strangers. Boys usually cannot. (Moir, Anne, and David Jessel. Brain Sex, the Real Difference Between Men & Women. NY: Carol Publishing Group, 1989, 1991, p 56)

Laughter is firmly in place. (Rose, Kenneth Jon. The Body in Time. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1988, pp 150-152)

Are aware of tiny shifts in musical pitch. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. CA: University of California Press, 1998, p 145)

Are beginning to perceive people as whole beings (as opposed to smaller parts such as hands, faces, breasts). (Karen, Robert, PhD. Becoming Attached. NY: Oxford University Press, 1994, 1998, pp 73-75)

Can recall a melody well enough to show surprise if a single note in a familiar tune is changed. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. CA: University of California Press, 1998, p 145)

The visual sensory system reaches a first level of stability. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 100-104)

Baby can no longer distinguish sounds that are part of foreign languages (although can learn any language at birth). (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. NY: A Dutton Book 1998, pp 134-135)

Birth to 12 months – development of the first stage of pre-frontal cortex. Care and nurturing (and emotional state of caregiver) can impact development at the cellular level. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 42-46)

Are beginning to associate words with their meanings. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, pp 74-75)

Able to make finer discriminations in frequency and pitch (compared to newborn abilities). (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. NY: Doubleday, 1987, 1989, pp 34-35)

Know which phonemes (sound contrasts) are utilized in their native language speech. (Greenfield, Susan A., Con. Ed. Brain Power. Working out the Human Mind. MA: The Ivy Press Limited, 1999, p 163)

A child begins to laugh at unusual or inappropriate adult behavior (e.g., funny faces, walking on all fours). (Branson, Roy, PhD. The Sacredness of Laughter. WA: Spectrum, Vol 26, No. 4, January 1998, pp 45-46)

Emotional-cognitive brain and emotional intelligence can develop (as sensory-motor system is thought to be functional after age one). Limbic system develops and continues until about age 11. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 30-32)

Already have the beginnings of a vocabulary. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, pp 74-75)

By 18 months can imitate observed human actions (e.g., pulling apart a toy dumbbell) but will ignore the same actions if carried out by a mechanical device. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. PA: Rodale, 2003, pp 34-35)

Can learn a new word every 90 minutes (and that can continue through much of childhood). (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. NY: A Dutton Book 1998, pp 134-135)

Orbito-frontal loop develops, connecting forward portion of the prefrontal lobes with the highest level of the emotional brain layer. The “affective tone” experienced by the toddler determines ability of loop to function. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 44-48)

Vocabulary for girls contains up to 2000 words. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, pp 74-75)

Begin to notice and to learn songs that they hear others sing. (Storr, Anthony. Music and the Mind. NY: Ballantine Books, 1992, pp 8-10)

By age two children begin to create their own juxtapositions and laugh at incongruities. (Branson, Roy, PhD. The Sacredness of Laughter. WA: Spectrum, Vol 26, No. 4, January 1998, pp 45-46)

Hippocampus matures during second year to allow for development of explicit memory ability. (Siegel, Daniel J. The Developing Mind. NY: The Guilford Press, 1999, pp 64-66)

More physically aggressive than at any other time in their lives. (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002, p 194)

By the end of the third year of life, the corpus callosum allows for the transfer of information between the hemispheres (prior to that the child could be described as a split-brain person). (Siegel, Daniel J., MD. The Developing Mind. NY: The Guilford Press, 1999, pp 177-180)

A 3-year-old girl has twice the vocabulary of a comparable boy and most of her speech is 100% understandable. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. NY: Broadway Books, 1998, p 70)

The hippocampus, involved with general memory and transfers to long-term memory, experiences its period of growth after the third year. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 30-34)

Acquire autobiographical memories. (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002, p 141)

Right cerebral hemisphere develops and continues until about age 15. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 44-48)

Laughs about once every 4 minutes. (Sobel, David S., and Robert Ornstein, MD. The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook. NY: Patient Education Media, Inc., 1996, pp 49-59)

May have a vocabulary of 13,000 words. (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. NY: A Dutton Book 1998, pp 134-135)

Concrete operation begins to develop (e.g., an abstract idea can impact the sensory-motor brain). This allows one to imagine new ways of keeping warm in winter. Left hemisphere develops until about age 21. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 30-32, 45-48)

Parietal lobes in girls reach gray matter peak. (Schwartz, Jeffrey M., MD, and Sharon Begley. The Mind & the Brain. NY Regan Books, 2002, pp 128-1290

Cerebellum development has a growth spurt. Formal operational thinking can become a possibility. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 44-48, 95-97)

Parietal lobes in boys reach gray matter peak. (Schwartz, Jeffrey M., MD, and Sharon Begley. The Mind & the Brain. NY: Regan Books, 2002, pp 128-129)

The reticular formation, which plays a major role in maintaining attention, usually only becomes fully myelinated at or after puberty (e.g., prepubescent children have a short attention span). The frontal lobes do not become fully myelinated until full adulthood (e.g., younger adults are more emotional and impulsive than those who are older). (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. CA: University of California Press, 1998, p 20)

Reaches adult weight in terms of the brain. (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. NY: Dutton, 1998, pp 52-53)

Development of brain layers stabilizes. Major growth spurt involving the second stage of pre-frontal cortex, and lasts until likely mid-twenties. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 42-46)

Temporal lobes (e.g., language and emotional control) reach their gray matter maximum. (Schwartz, Jeffrey M., MD, and Sharon Begley. The Mind & the Brain. NY: Regan Books, 2002, pp 128-129)

By graduation from high school (depending on literacy level), may have a vocabulary of between 60,000 to 120,000 words. (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind. NY: A Dutton Book 1998, pp 134-135)

The frontal cortex does not fully develop until sometime in the early twenties. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. NY: Scribner, 1997, p 288)

Myelination continues until most people are in their twenties, and may continue even longer. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Endangered Minds. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1990, pp 66-70)

The final layer of myelin is completed by the mid-twenties. (Greenfield, Susan, Con. Ed. Brain Power, Great Britain: Element books Limited, 1999, p 157)

The frontal lobes become fully myelinated at full adulthood (e.g., younger adults are more emotional and impulsive than those who are older). (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. CA: University of California Press, 1998, p 20)

The frontal area of the brain appears to be fully mature around age thirty. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. NY: Bard Press, 2000, p 77) 

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