The Active Child Theme: Infant Cognitive Development

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The Active Child Theme: Infant Cognitive Development Katherine Pita Florida International University DEP 2001 Cognitive development is the process that leads to the emergence of the ability to think and understand (Siegler, DeLoache, Eisenberg, & Saffran, 2014). This process involves the “development of thinking and reasoning” (Siegler et al., 2014, p.15) throughout childhood, including the growth of capabilities such as “perception, attention, language, problem solving, reasoning, memory, conceptual understanding, and intelligence” (Siegler et al., 2014, p. 131). Children contribute to their development through self-initiated activity even before they are born, by practicing breathing and digestive processes and exercising…show more content…
One of the first ways that an infant contributes to its own cognitive development is through their looking preferences and visual observation. In fact, research indicates that newborn infants are able to discriminate their mother’s face from that of a stranger shortly after birth (Field, 1984). It is through the work of Robert Fantz that the preferential-looking technique was discovered (Siegler et al., 2014, p. 174). Research employing Fantz preferential-looking technique indicates that infants prefer to look at objects rather than blank fields and moving objects rather than stationary (Siegler et al., 2014, p. 642). Infants’ self-initiated visual preferences to implicate that even at an early age, it is preferable to focus their attention on stimuli that enhances their learning and cognitive development. In addition, infants contribute to their own cognitive development through their observation of cause and effect. One of the major ways in which infants develop knowledge on cause and effect is through the observation of the physical world around them (Baillargeon,…show more content…
This theme addresses the question of whether or not children shape their own development. It is evident that the active child theme applies to the subject of infant cognitive development, as infants contribute to their development through the use of visual preferences and observation, interaction with the environment, and through the use of play. The bountiful research in the field of infant cognitive development serves as a confirmation that infants are not as inactive as they were once thought to be. Infants are the pioneers of their minds and they are able to gain a great deal of knowledge through their observation of the world

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