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What's Going On in There?

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Chapter 1: Nature or Nurture? It's All in the Brain

Chapter 2: The Basic Biology of Brain Development
How a brain is sculpted • Development and Evolution • The brain of a fetus • The birth and growth of neurons • Use it or lose it: The natural selection of brain wiring • Myelination: Insulating the wires • Regional brain development as a map of the developing mind • Critical periods for enriching brain wiring

Chapter 3: Prenatal Influences on the Developing Brain
Neural tube defects • Effects of nutrition on the developing brain • Maternal drug and chemical exposure (Alcohol - Cigarettes - Illegal drugs - Caffeine - Aspartame - Monosodium glutamate (MSG) - Other chemicals - Lead) • Ionizing Radiation • Non-ionizing radiation • Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (Microwaves and Radio waves - Video Display Terminals (VDTs) - Power lines and electric blankets - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - Ultrasound) • Maternal Infections (Rubella - Cytomegalovirus - Toxoplasmosis - Genital Herpes - Chicken pox - Syphilis - Influenza) • Maternal hormones, emotion, and stress (Effects of stress - Prenatal stress and sexual orientation - Maternal exercise) • Summary of Prenatal Risk Factors

Chapter 4: How Birth Affects the Brain
Does the baby's brain trigger birth? • The benefits of birth for baby's brain • Is there a sensitive period for parent-infant bonding immediately after birth? • The dangers of birth for the baby's brain (Birth trauma - Birth asphyxia and cerebral palsy - Fetal monitoring) • Childbirth choices: Obstetrical drugs and procedures and their effects on the baby's brain (Breech delivery - Forceps - Systemic analgesia - Epidural anesthesia - General anesthesia)

Chapter 5: The Importance of Touch
The anatomy of touch • Role of early experience in shaping the somatosensory map • How does touch sensitivity develop? • What can babies feel? • The development of pain sensitivity • The development of temperature sensitivity • The benefits of early touch • Touch as treatment: how early contact and massage can promote a child's growth and development

Chapter 6: Why Babies Loved To Be Bounced: The Precocious Sense Of Balance And Motion
The vestibular senses • Development of the vestibular system • Prenatal vulnerability of the vestibular system • The development of vestibular function • Vestibular development and the rest of the brain • The benefits of vestibular stimulation

Chapter 7: The Early World of Smell
How smell works • Development of the olfactory system • Smelling in the womb • What can newborns smell? • Sex differences in olfaction • Pleasant or foul: the slow emergence of hedonics • Early olfactory learning, bonding and social development

Chapter 8: Taste, Milk, and Food Preference
How taste works • The ability to taste begins in utero • What can a newborn taste? • Changes in taste perception • Why kids (and adults) love sweets • The special benefits of breast milk for brain development (Taurine - Lipids - Non-nutrient components of breast milk) • Breast milk and early taste experience • Alcohol and breast milk • Does early taste experience influence later taste preferences?

Chapter 9: Wiring-up the Visual Brain
How vision works • How the visual system develops • Getting the wiring right: the roles of nature and nurture • How vision improves (What a newborn sees - Eye movements and visual attention - Acuity - Externality - Obligatory looking - Color vision - Depth perception - Face recognition) • Sex differences in visual development • When something goes wrong • Visual development and the rest of the brain

Chapter 10: How Hearing Evolves
How hearing works • How the auditory system develops • What can a fetus hear? • Noise damage in fetal and preterm babies' ears • Learning in the womb • What newborns can hear • How hearing improves (Frequency sensitivity - Sound localization - Threshold - Temporal resolution - Discriminating sounds in a noisy background) • Speaking in "motherese" • Plasticity and critical periods in auditory development • Hearing impairment (Prenatal infections - Drugs and chemicals - Perinatal factors - Screening for hearing loss) • Middle ear infections

Chapter 11: Motor Milestones
How the brain produces movement • Fetal movements and their significance • The nature and nurture of motor development (Brain maturation and myelination - Role of the environment - The role of practice) • The development of reaching • Righty or lefty? How handedness emerges • "Learning" to walk • Infant walkers don't help infants walk • How to encourage a baby's motor development

Chapter 12: Social-Emotional Growth
How the limbic system generates emotion • Development of the emotional brain • Emotion and memory • Limbic development over the first six months (The social-emotional life of a newborn - Social smiling - "Protoconversation") • Six to eighteen months: Attachment, inhibition and emotional awareness • When mothers work: how non-maternal care affects attachment and later emotional development • Stress, attachment, and brain development • Do boys and girls differ in their social and emotional development? • The neural basis of temperament (Shy or bold? - The physiology of timidity - Predicting temperament in early infancy) • Harnessing limbic plasticity: how parenting shapes a child's personality (Social deprivation in monkeys - Child abuse - Parenting style - Implications for emotional parenting)

Chapter 13: The Emergence of Memory
The many types of memory • Amnesia in adults and infants • How does the brain store memories? • Brain and memory development • Fetal memory • Memory in the first six months • Recognition and novelty preference • Infant recognition memory and later IQ • Testosterone and memory development • Eight months and beyond: The emergence of recall • Training memory skills: Is there a critical period?

Chapter 14: Language and the Developing Brain
How language works • Brain anatomy and the development of language • The critical period for language experience • Language in a newborn? How the brain is innately biased for language • Language in the first eighteen months • Eighteen months on: The grammar explosion • Individual differences in language: The nature and nurture of verbal skills (The role of genes - Sex differences in language and the brain - The role of experience - How parenting style affects language-learning - Accelerating language-learning) • How to provide early language enrichment

Chapter 15: How Intelligence Grows in the Brain
The neural basis of intelligence, and how it develops • (Brain size - Mental speed - Speed gains in childhood - "Efficiency" - Intelligence and the frontal cortex) • Development of the frontal lobes • Are both hemispheres equally intelligent? • Brain development and cognitive milestones • (Amazing baby tricks - Eight months - Eighteen months - Three to four years - Six years) • Predicting IQ in early infancy • Children's brains: smart or not?

Chapter 16: Nature, Nurture, and Sex Differences in Intellectual Development
The role of genes • The role of environment • The "Flynn Effect" • Sex differences in intelligence

Chapter 17: How to Raise a Smarter Child
Family characteristics: Socioeconomic status, birth order, and maternal employment • Prenatal influences • Nutrition • Activities and physical environment • Can Mozart really mold the mind? • Parent/caregiver style • Schooling • Does preschool increase a child's intelligence? • The "perfect" parent