Infant Development Quotes

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Life is a process during which one initially gets less and less dependent, independent, and then more and more dependent.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and some are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation. But this does not mean that solitary, creative pursuits are themselves pathological.... [A]voidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioural disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order in life which was not entirely, or even chiefly, dependent upon interpersonal relationships.
Anthony Storr (Solitude: A Return to the Self)
Early relational trauma results from the fact that we are often given more to experience in this life than we can bear to experience consciously. This problem has been around since the beginning of time, but it is especially acute in early childhood where, because of the immaturity of the psyche and/or brain, we are ill-equipped to metabolize our experience. An infant or young child who is abused, violated or seriously neglected by a caretaking adult is overwhelmed by intolerable affects that are impossible for it to metabolize, much less understand or even think about.
Donald Kalsched (Trauma and the Soul: A psycho-spiritual approach to human development and its interruption)
All infants and children require and deserve comfort in order to develop properly. Soft cooing voices, gentle touch, smiles, cleanliness, and wholesome food all contribute to the growing body/mind. And when these basic conditions are absent in childhood, our need for comfort in adulthood can be so profound that it becomes pathological, driving us to seek mothering from anyone who will have us, to use others to fill our emptiness with sex or love, and to risk becoming addicted to a perceived source of comfort.
Alexandra Katehakis (Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence)
Children who don’t feel safe in infancy have trouble regulating their moods and emotional responses as they grow older. By kindergarten, many disorganized infants are either aggressive or spaced out and disengaged, and they go on to develop a range of psychiatric problems.23 They also show more physiological stress, as expressed in heart rate, heart rate variability,24 stress hormone responses, and lowered immune factors.25 Does this kind of biological dysregulation automatically reset to normal as a child matures or is moved to a safe environment? So far as we know, it does not.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
A word about TV: If a television is on, an infant will stare at it. This is not a sign of advanced development. TV entertains at a cost. Young children easily become dependent on the TV for stimulation and lose some of their natural drive to explore. A child with a plastic cup and spoon, a few wooden blocks, and a board book can think up fifty creative ways to use those objects; a child in front of a TV can only do one thing.
Benjamin Spock (Baby and Child Care)
There have been numerous studies suggesting that one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty is through the education of women and girls. It’s one of the best returns on investment in the developing world, but sixty-six million girls worldwide are not enrolled in school. Educated women spread what they’ve learned to their families and villages and children. Educated girls get pregnant later, have fewer children, and have a far lower infant mortality rate. Educated women and girls have greater power to determine their own fate; earn more; live a rich, fulfilled life; and give back to their communities at a greater level.
Rainn Wilson (The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy)
[A]voidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioural disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order in life which was not entirely, or even chiefly, dependent upon interpersonal relationships.
Anthony Storr (Solitude: A Return to the Self)
Mother-infant inter-brain synchrony algorithms of compassionate artificial intelligence and social robots are developed based on brain-to-brain synchrony of gaze, facial expressions and heart rhythms between mother and child.
Amit Ray (Compassionate Artificial Intelligence)
The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father's cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor for ever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl's errand as a messenger of anguish was all fulfilled.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
Something as superfluous as "play" is also an essential feature of our consciousness. If you ask children why they like to play, they will say, "Because it's fun." But that invites the next question: What is fun? Actually, when children play, they are often trying to reenact complex human interactions in simplified form. Human society is extremely sophisticated, much too involved for the developing brains of young children, so children run simplified simulations of adult society, playing games such as doctor, cops and robber, and school. Each game is a model that allows children to experiment with a small segment of adult behavior and then run simulations into the future. (Similarly, when adults engage in play, such as a game of poker, the brain constantly creates a model of what cards the various players possess, and then projects that model into the future, using previous data about people's personality, ability to bluff, etc. The key to games like chess, cards, and gambling is the ability to simulate the future. Animals, which live largely in the present, are not as good at games as humans are, especially if they involve planning. Infant mammals do engage in a form of play, but this is more for exercise, testing one another, practicing future battles, and establishing the coming social pecking order rather than simulating the future.)
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
Our brain is organized to act and feel before we think. This is also how our brain develops—sequentially, from the bottom up. The developing infant acts and feels, and these actions and feelings help organize how they will begin to think.
Oprah Winfrey (What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
People who believe they have authority over themselves often live longer than their peers. This instinct for control is so central to how our brains develop that infants, once they learn to feed themselves, will resist adults’ attempts at control even if submission is more likely to get food into their mouths.
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business)
Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on [E]arth. According to the United Nations' Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Insofar as there is a crime problem in Western Europe, it is largely the product of immigration. Seventy percent of the inmates of France's jails, for instance, are Muslim. The Muslims of Western Europe are generally not atheists. Conversely, the fifty nations now ranked lowest in terms of the United Nations' [H]uman [D]evelopment [I]ndex are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: the United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious adherence; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious literalism, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
For a person with ADD, tuning out is an automatic brain activity that originated during the period of rapid brain development in infancy when there was emotional hurt combined with helplessness. At one time or another, every infant or young
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and soem are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation. But this does not mean that solitary, creative pursuits are themselves pathological.... [A]voidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioural disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order in life was not entirely, or even cheifly, dependent upon interpersonal relationships.
Anthony Storr (Solitude: A Return to the Self)
It is louder than an untrained orchestra in rehearsal and the sound of infants and children is the theme: tremendously developed, in extraordinary harmonies, in the voices of the elders.
James Baldwin (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Meanwhile, infants and small children are exceptionally authentic beings because their emotional reactions and their thoughts are raw and honest. If they are happy, they smile, giggle, exclaim in pure joy, and feel excited, motivated, curious, and creative. If they are hurt, they cry, disengage, get angry, seek help and protection, and feel betrayed, sad, scared, lonely, and helpless. They don’t hide behind a mask.
Darius Cikanavicius (Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults)
Individuality is deeply imbued in us from the very start, at the neuronal level. Even at a motor level, researchers have shown, an infant does not follow a set pattern of learning to walk or how to reach for something. Each baby experiments with different ways of reaching for objects and over the course of several months discovers or selects his own motor solutions. When we try to envisage the neural basis of such individual learning, we might imagine a "population" of movements (and their neural correlates) being strengthened or pruned away by experience. Similar considerations arise with regard to recover and rehabilitation after strokes and other injuries. There are no rules; there is no prescribed path of recovery; every patient must discover or create his own motor and perceptual patterns, his own solutions to the challenges that face him; and it is the function of a sensitive therapist to help him in this. And in its broadest sense, neural Darwinism implies that we are destined, whether we wish it or not, to a life of particularity and self-development, to make our own individual paths through life.
Oliver Sacks (On the Move: A Life)
Hippocrates took the no doubt breakfast-inspired view that the egg was simply something for the developing human to eat. He further speculated that as soon as the egg was all eaten up, then the infant would hatch: birth as a sort of grocery-shopping trip.)
Mary Roach (Six Feet Over: Science Tackles the Afterlife)
Soothing is essential to all infants, whose brains develop the capacity to regulate negative emotion directly from the experience of being soothed. Most, although not all, infants insist on being held and carried much of the time, which helps them regulate themselves physiologically.
Laura Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (The Peaceful Parent Series))
For a person with ADD, tuning out is an automatic brain activity that originated during the period of rapid brain development in infancy when there was emotional hurt combined with helplessness. At one time or another, every infant or young child feels frustration and psychological pain. Episodic experiences of a distressing nature do not induce dissociation, but chronic distress does—the distress of the sensitive infant with unsatisfied attunement needs, for example. The infant has to dissociate chronic emotional pain from consciousness for two reasons. First, it is too overwhelming for his fragile nervous system. He simply cannot exist in what we might call a state of chronic negative arousal, with adrenaline and other stress hormones pumping through his veins all the time. It is physiologically too toxic. He has to block it out. Second, if the parent’s anxiety is the source of the infant’s distress, the infant unconsciously senses that fully expressing his own emotional turmoil will only heighten that anxiety. His distress would then be aggravated—a vicious cycle he can escape by tuning out.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Where do we get the energy to keep on hoping and praying that things will get better? What makes us believe we DESERVE a happy life to begin with? Is this just an American phenomenon? We just assume that we are entitled to happiness? And when we do get the things we wished so hard for, are we happy? Or do we just want more...? And what about people in less developed countries who's lives are REALLY hard? People who live in places where infant death, widespread disease, rape, general oppression, poverty and starvation are the norm. Why do THEY keep going? Do they hope for happiness too, or do they think there are no other options but to keep living. I need to know.
Jessica Kenley (Kidowed)
As we develop as infants and toddlers, we learn many of our social, moral and ethical cues from our parents.
Asa Don Brown
attachment relationship between infant and caregiver is itself an affective bond.
Peter Fonagy (Affect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of the Self)
One reason it is vital to respond to an infant's needs is trhat the baby feels it is the cause of its own neglect, although this is not a conscious thought. Such narcissistic feelings pave the road to an infant's psychological and physical growth; since the baby senses no boundaries between herself and her mother, she "believes" that her cries cause the mother to tend to her. And if the mother does not tend to her, the baby believes that she created her own rejection by not being lovable, not worthy of care. It's a belief that haunts one's life.
Victoria Secunda (When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life)
Dan felt sure that inner-child stuff was brought into service to excuse a lot of selfish and destructive behavior (what Casey liked to call the Gotta-Have-It-Now Syndrome), but he also had no doubt that grown men and women held every stage of their development somewhere in their brains—not just the inner child, but the inner infant, the inner teenager, and the inner young adult.
Stephen King (Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2))
Crying is the primary way by which infants and small children convey their needs. Their cries can be from hunger, pain, fear, neglect, and many other things. It is the caregiver’s responsibility to correctly decipher these needs and then meet them. It is tragically common, however, that the child’s cries are so often ignored, misunderstood, and even taken as an "attack" on the caregiver, which may result in an active and brutal punishment of the child.
Darius Cikanavicius (Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults)
What are the stars? Such questions are as natural as an infant’s smile. We have always asked them. What is different about our time is that at last we know some of the answers. Books and libraries provide a ready means for finding out what those answers are. In biology there is a principle of powerful if imperfect applicability called recapitulation: in our individual embryonic development we retrace the evolutionary history of the species. There is, I think, a kind of recapitulation that occurs in our individual intellectual developments as well. We unconsciously retrace the thoughts of our remote ancestors. Imagine a time before science, a time before libraries. Imagine a time hundreds of thousands of years ago. We were then just about as smart, just as curious, just as involved in things social and sexual. But the experiments had not yet been done, the inventions had not yet been made. It was the childhood of genus Homo. Imagine the time when fire was first discovered. What were human lives like then? What did our ancestors believe the stars were? Sometimes, in my fantasies, I imagine there was someone who thought like this: We
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
Environmental influences also affect dopamine. From animal studies, we know that social stimulation is necessary for the growth of the nerve endings that release dopamine and for the growth of receptors that dopamine needs to bind to in order to do its work. In four-month-old monkeys, major alterations of dopamine and other neurotransmitter systems were found after only six days of separation from their mothers. “In these experiments,” writes Steven Dubovsky, Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of Colorado, “loss of an important attachment appears to lead to less of an important neurotransmitter in the brain. Once these circuits stop functioning normally, it becomes more and more difficult to activate the mind.” A neuroscientific study published in 1998 showed that adult rats whose mothers had given them more licking, grooming and other physical-emotional contact during infancy had more efficient brain circuitry for reducing anxiety, as well as more receptors on nerve cells for the brain’s own natural tranquilizing chemicals. In other words, early interactions with the mother shaped the adult rat’s neurophysiological capacity to respond to stress. In another study, newborn animals reared in isolation had reduced dopamine activity in their prefrontal cortex — but not in other areas of the brain. That is, emotional stress particularly affects the chemistry of the prefrontal cortex, the center for selective attention, motivation and self-regulation. Given the relative complexity of human emotional interactions, the influence of the infant-parent relationship on human neurochemistry is bound to be even stronger. In the human infant, the growth of dopamine-rich nerve terminals and the development of dopamine receptors is stimulated by chemicals released in the brain during the experience of joy, the ecstatic joy that comes from the perfectly attuned mother-child mutual gaze interaction. Happy interactions between mother and infant generate motivation and arousal by activating cells in the midbrain that release endorphins, thereby inducing in the infant a joyful, exhilarated state. They also trigger the release of dopamine. Both endorphins and dopamine promote the development of new connections in the prefrontal cortex. Dopamine released from the midbrain also triggers the growth of nerve cells and blood vessels in the right prefrontal cortex and promotes the growth of dopamine receptors. A relative scarcity of such receptors and blood supply is thought to be one of the major physiological dimensions of ADD. The letters ADD may equally well stand for Attunement Deficit Disorder.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Melanie Klein focused on how a “schizoid” personality could develop as the result of an infant’s relations with its mother in the first year of life, although she noted that most people grow out of this and establish healthy relations with themselves and the world.
Tom Butler-Bowdon (50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books (50 Classics))
Melanie Klein focused on how a “schizoid” personality could develop as the result of an infant’s relations with its mother in the first year of life, although she noted that most people grow out of this and establish healthy relations with themselves and the world. Most
Tom Butler-Bowdon (50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books (50 Classics))
From the earliest age, children sense your attitude. If you approach their care as a burden or drudgery, your children will respond in a burdensome way, and you will experience drudgery. Instead, see each day as an adventure and know that each stage of your children’s development is precious.
Gary Ezzo (On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep)
Human infants begin to develop specific attachments to particular people around the third quarter of their first year of life. This is the time at which the infant begins to protest if handed to a stranger and tends to cling to the mother or other adults with whom he is familiar. The mother usually provides a secure base to which the infant can return, and, when she is present, the infant is bolder in both exploration and play than when she is absent. If the attachment figure removes herself, even briefly, the infant usually protests. Longer separations, as when children have been admitted to hospital, cause a regular sequence of responses first described by Bowlby. Angry protest is succeeded by a period of despair in which the infant is quietly miserable and apathetic. After a further period, the infant becomes detached and appears no longer to care about the absent attachment
Anthony Storr (Solitude: A Return to the Self)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
what happens when a baby doesn’t get those positive, nurturing responses? Say, if a mom is on her own with no help, or depressed, or in a violent relationship? She may really want to be a loving, responsive parent, but is that possible under those circumstances? Dr. Perry: This is one of the central problems in our society; we have too many parents caring for children with inadequate supports. The result is what you would expect. An overwhelmed, exhausted, dysregulated parent will have a hard time regulating a child consistently and predictably. This can impact the child in two really important ways. First, it affects the development of the child’s stress-response systems (see Figure 3). If the hungry, cold, scared infant is inconsistently responded to—and regulated—by the overwhelmed caregiver, this creates an inconsistent, prolonged, and unpredictable activation of the child’s stress-response systems. The result is a sensitization of these important systems.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
Women who gave birth earlier, when the infant’s brain and head were still relatively small and supple, fared better and lived to have more children. Natural selection consequently favoured earlier births. And, indeed, compared to other animals, humans are born prematurely, when many of their vital systems are still under-developed.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The murder of a child by a parent is horrific and is usually complicated by serious mental illness, as in the Yates and Smith cases. But these cases also tend to create distortions and bias. Police and prosecutors have been influenced by the media coverage, and a presumption of guilt has now fallen on thousands of women—particularly poor women in difficult circumstances—whose children die unexpectedly. Despite America's preeminent status among developed nations, we have always struggled with high rates of infant mortality—much higher than in most developed countries. The inability of many poor women to get adequate health care, including prenatal and post-partum care, has been a serious problem in this country for decades. Even with recent improvements, infant mortality rates continue to be an embarrassment for a nation that spends more on health care than any other country in the world. The criminalization of infant mortality and the persecution of poor women whose children die have taken on new dimensions in twenty-first-century America, as prisons across the country began to bear witness.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy)
His maternal deprivation had caused what John Bowlby, a famous British psychiatrist, called an “attachment disorder.” Maternal attachment is more important than anything else to a baby—even more important than food. A baby will give up anything to have it. Without it, the child is anxious and unable to explore or deal with the world in any normal way. And attachment disorder doesn’t just affect the relationship with the mother; it affects all social, emotional, and cognitive development. If the child doesn’t experience attachment, that child can’t move forward to step two—trusting and emotionally attaching to others and, eventually, sexually attaching to others. In other words, you can’t grow emotionally if you didn’t have infant attachment.
Catherine Gildiner (Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery)
We already have intriguing evidence that some types of chronic pain work by prediction. Animals who have stress or injury early in life become more likely to develop persistent pain. Human infants who have surgery are more likely to have heightened pain in later childhood. (Incredibly, infants prior to the 1980s were routinely not anesthetized during major surgery, on the belief that they couldn’t feel pain!)
Lisa Feldman Barrett (How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain)
The idea behind the book is very simple. Every day we see young children completely absorbed in some video device like a smart phone and completely oblivious to the social world surrounding them. The idea is this: one-way communication interferes with social experiences and development. If this interference occurs during the first two years of life in the right infant, the outcome will be a child with ASD.
Leonard Oestreicher
When holding is not adequate, when the infant/body is intruded upon or neglected—or worse, abused—stimulation is too intense for the infant/body self. Its only recourse is to stop being conscious and present, thereby developing a habit of “dissociating” as a defense. Overstimulation at this age also interrupts self-development. All energy must be directed toward keeping the world from intruding. The whole world is dangerous.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You)
Children who don’t feel safe in infancy have trouble regulating their moods and emotional responses as they grow older. By kindergarten, many disorganized infants are either aggressive or spaced out and disengaged, and they go on to develop a range of psychiatric problems.23 They also show more physiological stress, as expressed in heart rate, heart rate variability,24 stress hormone responses, and lowered immune factors.25 Does this kind of biological dysregulation automatically reset to normal as a child matures or is moved to a safe environment? So far as we know, it does not. Parental abuse is not the only cause of disorganized attachment: Parents who are preoccupied with their own trauma, such as domestic abuse or rape or the recent death of a parent or sibling, may also be too emotionally unstable and inconsistent to offer much comfort and protection.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
And so, beginning with the small early frustrations and deprivations, the child is helped to govern himself. his ego develops by learning to regulate his own food intake and feces evacuation: he has to learn to adapt to a social schedule, to an external measure of time, in place of a biological schedule of internal urges. In all this he makes a bitter discovery: that he is no longer himself, just by seeking pleasure. There may be more excitement in the world but the fun keep getting interrupted. For some strange reason the mother doesn’t share his glee over a bowel movement on the sofa. The child finds that he has to “earn" the mother’s love by performing in a certain way. He comes to realize that he has to abandon the idea of “total excitement" and “uninterrupted fun," if he wants to keep a secure background of love from the mother. This is what Alfred Adler meant when he spoke of the child’s need for affection as the “lever" of his education. The child learns to accept frustrations so long as the total relationship is not endangered. This is what the psychoanalytic word “ambivalence" so nicely covers: the child may hesitate between giving up what has previously been an assured satisfaction, and proceeding to a new type of conduct which will be rewarded by a new kind of acceptance. Does he want to keep the breast instead of switching to the bottle? He finds that if he makes this switch he gets a special cooing of praise and a little extra attention. Ambivalence describes the process whereby the infant is propelled forward into increasing mastery by his developing ego, while at the same time he is lulled backward into a safe dependence by his need for approval and easy gratification; he is caught in the bind, as we all are, between new and uncertain rewards and tried and tested ones.
Ernest Becker
The sinner, which I am and which you are, is a sinner, but in times to come he will be Brahma again, he will reach the Nirvana, will be Buddha—and now see: these 'times to come' are a deception, are only a parable! The sinner is not on his way to become a Buddha, he is not in the process of developing, though our capacity for thinking does not know how else to picture these things. No, within the sinner is now and today already the future Buddha, his future is already all there, you have to worship in him, in you, in everyone the Buddha which is coming into being, the possible, the hidden Buddha. The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
I have only a bare working knowledge of the human brain but it's enough to make me proud to be an American. Your brain has a trillion neurons and every neuron has ten thousand little dendrites. The system of inter-communication is awe-inspiring. It's like a galaxy that you can hold in your hand, only more complex, more mysterious." "Why does this make you proud to be an American?" "The infant's brain develops in response to stimuli. We still lead the world in stimuli.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
The three conditions without which healthy growth does not take place can be taken for granted in the matrix of the womb: nutrition, a physically secure environment and the unbroken relationship with a safe, ever-present maternal organism. The word matrix is derived from the Latin for “womb,” itself derived from the word for “mother.” The womb is mother, and in many respects the mother remains the womb, even following birth. In the womb environment, no action or reaction on the developing infant’s part is required for the provision of any of his needs. Life in the womb is surely the prototype of life in the Garden of Eden where nothing can possibly be lacking, nothing has to be worked for. If there is no consciousness — we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Knowledge — there is also no deprivation or anxiety. Except in conditions of extreme poverty unusual in the industrialized world, although not unknown, the nutritional needs and shelter requirements of infants are more or less satisfied. The third prime requirement, a secure, safe and not overly stressed emotional atmosphere, is the one most likely to be disrupted in Western societies. The human infant lacks the capacity to follow or cling to the parent soon after being born, and is neurologically and biochemically underdeveloped in many other ways. The first nine months or so of extrauterine life seem to have been intended by nature as the second part of gestation. The anthropologist Ashley Montagu has called this phase exterogestation, gestation outside the maternal body. During this period, the security of the womb must be provided by the parenting environment. To allow for the maturation of the brain and nervous system that in other species occurs in the uterus, the attachment that was until birth directly physical now needs to be continued on both physical and emotional levels. Physically and psychologically, the parenting environment must contain and hold the infant as securely as she was held in the womb. For the second nine months of gestation, nature does provide a near-substitute for the direct umbilical connection: breast-feeding. Apart from its irreplaceable nutritional value and the immune protection it gives the infant, breast-feeding serves as a transitional stage from unbroken physical attachment to complete separation from the mother’s body. Now outside the matrix of the womb, the infant is nevertheless held close to the warmth of the maternal body from which nourishment continues to flow. Breast-feeding also deepens the mother’s feeling of connectedness to the baby, enhancing the emotionally symbiotic bonding relationship. No doubt the decline of breast-feeding, particularly accelerated in North America, has contributed to the emotional insecurities so prevalent in industrialized countries. Even more than breast-feeding, healthy brain development requires emotional security and warmth in the infant’s environment. This security is more than the love and best possible intentions of the parents. It depends also on a less controllable variable: their freedom from stresses that can undermine their psychological equilibrium. A calm and consistent emotional milieu throughout infancy is an essential requirement for the wiring of the neurophysiological circuits of self-regulation. When interfered with, as it often is in our society, brain development is adversely affected.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
To the newborn, love is action; it is the attentive, responsive, nurturing care that adults provide. A parent may truly love his child, but if he is sitting at a computer posting on social media about how much he loves his child while the infant is in another room, awake, hungry, and crying, the infant experiences no love. To the infant, skin-to-skin warmth, the smell of the parent, the sights and sounds of her caregivers, the attentive and responsive caregiver’s actions-that becomes love. The thousands of these loving, responsive interactions shape the developing brain of the infant. These loving moments literally build the foundation of the organizing brain….the infant begins to associate these responsive people with pleasure, sustenance, warmth; her view of the world is being shaped…it is through these interactions that the child’s worldview is built, and depending upon the quality and pattern of the caregiver’s responses, will build resilience or contribute to a sensitized, vulnerable child.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
The stack of her medical files that confronted me at the nurses’ station was about four feet high, taller than the shrunken little girl herself. Laura’s story, like that of the children of Waco, helped us learn more about how children respond to early experience. It illustrates how the mind and body cannot be treated separately, reveals what infants and young children need for healthy brain development and demonstrates how neglecting those needs can have a profound impact on every aspect of a child’s growth.
Bruce D. Perry (The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook)
The major impairments of ADD — the distractibility, the hyperactivity and the poor impulse control — reflect, each in its particular way, a lack of self-regulation. Self-regulation implies that someone can direct attention where she chooses, can control impulses and can be consciously mindful and in charge of what her body is doing. Like time literacy, self-regulation is also a distinct task of development in human life, achieved gradually from young childhood through adolescence and adulthood. We are born with no capacity whatsoever to self-regulate emotion or action. For self-regulation to be possible, specific brain centers have to develop and grow connections with other important nerve centers, and chemical pathways need to be established. Attention deficit disorder is a prime illustration of how the adult continues to struggle with the unsolved problems of childhood. She is held back precisely where the child did not develop, hampered in those areas where the infant or toddler got stuck during the course of development.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
But it is far more important that we allow developing countries to use protection, subsidies, and regulation of foreign investment adequately in order to develop their own economies, rather than giving them bigger agricultural markets overseas. Especially if agricultural liberalization by the rich countries can only be 'bought' by the developing countries giving up their use of the tools of infant industry promotion, the price is not worth paying. Developing countries should not be forced to sell their future for small immediate gains.
Ha-Joon Chang (Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism)
The Trickster cycle corresponds to the earliest and least developed period of life. Trickster is a figure whose physical appetites dominate his behavior; he has the mentality of an infant. Lacking any purpose beyond the gratification of his primary needs, he is cruel, cynical, and unfeeling. (Our stories of Brer Rabbit or Reynard the Fox preserve the essentials of the Trickster myth.) This figure, which at the outset assumes the form of an animal, passes from one mischievous exploit to another. But, as he does so, a change comes over him. At the end of his rogue's process he is beginning to take on the physical likeness of a grown man.
Joseph L. Henderson (Man and His Symbols)
The mother is downloading emotion programs into the infant’s right brain. The child is using the output of the mother’s right hemisphere as a template for the imprinting, the hardwiring, of circuits in his own right hemisphere.”2 You’re even determining the size of his hippocampi3 (more development confers better learning, stress management, and mental health), anterior cingulate (emotional regulation), and amygdala (emotional reactivity). This early brain wiring influences happiness levels and mood later in life, because better wiring means a better ability to connect with others, regulate positive or negative emotions, and soothe ourselves.
Laura Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (The Peaceful Parent Series))
Whatever happens to a baby contributes to the emotional and perceptual map of the world that its developing brain creates. As my colleague Bruce Perry explains it, the brain is formed in a “use-dependent manner.”5 This is another way of describing neuroplasticity, the relatively recent discovery that neurons that “fire together, wire together.” When a circuit fires repeatedly, it can become a default setting—the response most likely to occur. If you feel safe and loved, your brain becomes specialized in exploration, play, and cooperation; if you are frightened and unwanted, it specializes in managing feelings of fear and abandonment. As infants and
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Even without world wars, revolutions and emigration, siblings growing up in the same home almost never share the same environment. More accurately, brothers and sisters share some environments — usually the less important ones — but they rarely share the one single environment that has the most powerful impact on personality formation. They may live in the same house, eat the same kinds of food, partake in many of the same activities. These are environments of secondary importance. Of all environments, the one that most profoundly shapes the human personality is the invisible one: the emotional atmosphere in which the child lives during the critical early years of brain development. The invisible environment has little to do with parenting philosophies or parenting style. It is a matter of intangibles, foremost among them being the parents’ relationship with each other and their emotional balance as individuals. These, too, can vary significantly from the birth of one child to the arrival of another. Psychological tension in the parents’ lives during the child’s infancy is, I am convinced, a major and universal influence on the subsequent emergence of ADD. A hidden factor of great importance is a parent’s unconscious attitude toward a child: what, or whom, on the deepest level, the child represents for the parents; the degree to which the parents see themselves in the child; the needs parents may have that they subliminally hope the child will meet. For the infant there exists no abstract, “out-there” reality. The emotional milieu with which we surround the child is the world as he experiences it. In the words of the child psychiatrist and researcher Margaret Mahler, for the newborn, the parent is “the principal representative of the world.” To the infant and toddler, the world reveals itself in the image of the parent: in eye contact, intensity of glance, body language, tone of voice and, above all, in the day-today joy or emotional fatigue exhibited in the presence of the child. Whatever a parent’s intention, these are the means by which the child receives his or her most formative communications. Although they will be of paramount importance for development of the child’s personality, these subtle and often unconscious influences will be missed on psychological questionnaires or observations of parents in clinical settings. There is no way to measure a softening or an edge of anxiety in the voice, the warmth of a smile or the depth of furrows on a brow. We have no instruments to gauge the tension in a father’s body as he holds his infant or to record whether a mother’s gaze is clouded by worry or clear with calm anticipation. It may be said that no two children have exactly the same parents, in that the parenting they each receive may vary in highly significant ways. Whatever the hopes, wishes or intentions of the parent, the child does not experience the parent directly: the child experiences the parenting. I have known two siblings to disagree vehemently about their father’s personality during their childhood. Neither has to be wrong if we understand that they did not receive the same fathering, which is what formed their experience of the father. I have even seen subtly but significantly different mothering given to a pair of identical twins.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
The birth of a True Equilateral Triangle from Isosceles parents is the subject of rejoicing in our country for many furlongs round. After a strict examination conducted by the Sanitary and Social Board, the infant, if certified as Regular, is with solemn ceremonial admitted into the class of Equilaterals. He is then immediately taken from his proud yet sorrowing parents and adopted by some childless Equilateral, who is bound by oath never to permit the child henceforth to enter his former home or so much as to look upon his relations again, for fear lest the freshly developed organism may, by force of unconscious imitation, fall back again into his hereditary level.
Edwin A. Abbott (Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions)
...Analyses of globalization may also include statistics on poverty and human development indicators such as health, life expectancy, education, and infant mortality. While such statistics are important and can provide powerful statements about reality, perspectives based mainly or exclusively on aggredate data remove us from the lives of real, embodied human beings. A shortcoming of these kinds of distant analyses is that they often miss or gloss over how peopple experience capitalist globalization in and on their bodies, and how embodied subjects in marginalized communities, both in the Global North and South, have challenged and resisted such powerful social forces (38).
Barbara Sutton (Bodies in Crisis: Culture, Violence, and Women's Resistance in Neoliberal Argentina)
Of the natural conditions of man is his search after an Exalted Being towards Whom he has an inherent attraction. This is manifested by an infant from the moment of its birth. As soon as it is born, it displays a spiritual characteristic that it inclines towards its mother and is inspired by love of her. As its faculties are developed and its nature begins to display itself openly, this inherent quality is displayed more and more strongly. It finds no comfort anywhere except in the lap of its mother. If it is separated from her and finds itself at a distance from her, its life becomes bitter. Heaps of bounties fail to beguile it away from its mother in whom all its joy is concentrated. It feels no joy apart from her. What, then, is the nature of the attraction which an infant feels so strongly towards its mother? It is the attraction which the True Creator has implanted in the nature of man. The same attraction comes into play whenever a person feels love for another. It is a reflection of the attraction that is inherent in man's nature towards God, as if he is in search of something that he misses, the name of which he has forgotten and which he seeks to find in one thing or another which he takes up from time to time. A person's love of wealth or offspring or wife or his soul being attracted towards a musical voice are all indications of his search for the True Beloved.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam)
It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and some are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation. But this does not mean that solitary, creative pursuits are themselves pathological…. [A]voidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioural disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Everyone has had the experience of suddenly feeling intense physiological and psychological shifts internally at trading glances with another person; such shifts can be exquisitely pleasurable or unpleasant. How one person gazes at another can alter the other’s electrical brain patterns, as registered by EEGS, and may also cause physiological changes in the body. The newborn is highly susceptible to such influences, with a direct effect on the maturation of brain structures. The effects of maternal moods on the electrical circuitry of the infant’s brain were demonstrated by a study at the University of Washington, Seattle. Positive emotions are associated with increased electrical activity in the left hemisphere. It is known that depression in adults is associated with decreased electrical activity in the circuitry of the left hemisphere. With this in mind, the Seattle study compared the EEGS of two groups of infants: one group whose mothers had symptoms of postpartum depression, the other whose mothers did not. “During playful interactions with the mothers designed to elicit positive emotion,” the researchers reported, “infants of non-depressed mothers showed greater left than right frontal brain activation.” The infants of depressed mothers “failed to show differential hemispheric activation,” meaning that the left-side brain activity one would anticipate from positive, joyful infant-mother exchanges did not occur — despite the mothers’ best efforts. Significantly, these effects were noted only in the frontal areas of the brain, where the centers for the self-regulation of emotion are located. In addition to EEG changes, infants of depressed mothers exhibit decreased activity levels, gaze aversion, less positive emotion and greater irritability. Maternal depression is associated with diminished infant attention spans. Summarizing a number of British studies, Dale F. Hay, a researcher at the University of Cambridge, suggests “that the experience of the mother’s depression in the first months of life may disrupt naturally occurring social processes that entrain and regulate the infant’s developing capacities for attention.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
The word matrix is derived from the Latin for “womb,” itself derived from the word for “mother.” The womb is mother, and in many respects the mother remains the womb, even following birth. In the womb environment, no action or reaction on the developing infant’s part is required for the provision of any of his needs. Life in the womb is surely the prototype of life in the Garden of Eden where nothing can possibly be lacking, nothing has to be worked for. If there is no consciousness—we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Knowledge—there is also no deprivation or anxiety. Except in conditions of extreme poverty unusual in the industrialized world, although not unknown, the nutritional needs and shelter requirements of infants are more or less satisfied.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Women paid extra. An upright gait required narrower hips, constricting the birth canal – and this just when babies’ heads were getting bigger and bigger. Death in childbirth became a major hazard for human females. Women who gave birth earlier, when the infant’s brain and head were still relatively small and supple, fared better and lived to have more children. Natural selection consequently favoured earlier births. And, indeed, compared to other animals, humans are born prematurely, when many of their vital systems are still under-developed. A colt can trot shortly after birth; a kitten leaves its mother to forage on its own when it is just a few weeks old. Human babies are helpless, dependent for many years on their elders for sustenance, protection and education.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
But she did inject a new term and new degree of frankness into the debate on what was coming to be called the sexual revolution. Also, by this time she saw birth control as the panacea for all social ills: disease, poverty, child labor, poor wages, infant mortality, the oppression of women, drunkenness, prostitution, abortion, feeblemindedness, physical handicaps, unwanted children, war, etc. “If we are to develop in America a new [human] race with a racial soul, we must keep the birth rate within the scope of our ability to understand as well as to educate. We must not encourage reproduction beyond our capacity to assimilate our numbers so as to make the coming generation into such physically fit, mentally capable, socially alert individuals as are the ideal of a democracy” (Sanger, 1920).
David B. McCoy (1920s: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement)
Although all new talkers say names, use similar sounds, and prefer nouns more than other parts of speech, the ratio of nouns to verbs and adjectives varies from place to place (Waxman et al., 2013). For example, by 18 months, Englishspeaking infants speak far more nouns than verbs compared to Chinese or Korean infants. Why? One explanation goes back to the language itself. The Chinese and Korean languages are “verb-friendly” in that verbs are placed at the beginning or end of sentences. That facilitates learning. By contrast, English verbs occur anywhere in a sentence, and their forms change in illogical ways (e.g., go, gone, will go, went). This irregularity may make English verbs harder to learn, although the fact that English verbs often have distinctive suffixes (-ing, -ed) and helper words (was, did, had) may make it easier (Waxman et al., 2013).
Kathleen Stassen Berger (The Developing Person Through Childhood)
Importantly, maternal stress impacts fetal development. There are indirect routes—for example, stressed people consume less healthy diets and consume more substances of abuse. More directly, stress alters maternal blood pressure and immune defenses, which impact a fetus. Most important, stressed mothers secrete glucocorticoids, which enter fetal circulation and basically have the same bad consequences as in stressed infants and children. Glucocorticoids accomplish this through organizational effects on fetal brain construction and decreasing levels of growth factors, numbers of neurons and synapses, and so on. Just as prenatal testosterone exposure generates an adult brain that is more sensitive to environmental triggers of aggression, excessive prenatal glucocorticoid exposure produces an adult brain more sensitive to environmental triggers of depression and anxiety.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Hamilton provided the blueprint for US economic policy until the end of the Second World War. His infant industry programme created the condition for a rapid industrial development. He also set up the government bond market and promoted the development of the banking system (once again, against opposition from Thomas Jefferson and his followers.) It is no hyperbole for the New-York Historical Society to have called him 'The Man Who Made Modern America' in a recent exhibition. Had the US rejected Hamilton's vision and accepted that of his archrival, Thomas Jefferson, for whom the ideal society was an agrarian economy made up of self-governing yeoman farmers (although this slave-owner had to sweep the slaves who supported this lifestyle under the carpet), it would never have been able to propel itself from being a minor agrarian power rebelling against its powerful colonial master to the world's greatest super power.
Ha-Joon Chang (Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism)
healthy deep limbic pathways. Then a bond or connectedness between the parents and the baby can begin to grow. Without love and affection, the baby does not develop appropriate deep limbic connectedness and thus never learns to trust or connect. He feels lonely and insecure, and becomes irritable and unresponsive. Touch is critical to life itself. In a barbaric thirteenth-century experiment, German Emperor Frederick II wanted to know what language and words children would speak if they were raised without hearing any words at all. He took a number of infants from their homes and put them with people who fed them but had strict instructions not to touch, cuddle, or talk to them. The babies never spoke a word. They all died before they could speak. Even though the language experiment was a failure, it resulted in an important discovery: Touch is essential to life. Salimbene, a historian of the time, wrote of the experiment in 1248, “They could not live without
Daniel G. Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness)
Having a TV—which gives you the ability to receive information—fails to establish any capacity for sending information in the opposite direction. And the odd one-way nature of the primary connection Americans now have to our national conversation has a profound impact on their basic attitude toward democracy itself. If you can receive but not send, what does that do to your basic feelings about the nature of your connection to American self-government? “Attachment theory” is an interesting new branch of developmental psychology that sheds light on the importance of consistent, appropriate, and responsive two-way communication—and why it is essential for an individual’s feeling empowered. First developed by John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, in 1958, attachment theory was further developed by his protégée Mary Ainsworth and other experts studying the psychological development of infants. Although it applies to individuals, attachment theory is, in my view, a metaphor that illuminates the significance of authentic free-flowing communication in any relationship that requires trust. By using this new approach, psychologists were able to discover that every infant learns a crucial and existential lesson during the first year of life about his or her fundamental relationship to the rest of the world. An infant develops an attachment pathway based on different patterns of care and, according to this theory, learns to adopt one of three basic postures toward the universe: In the best case, the infant learns that he or she has the inherent ability to exert a powerful influence on the world and evoke consistent, appropriate responses by communicating signals of hunger or discomfort, happiness or distress. If the caregiver—more often than not the mother—responds to most signals from the infant consistently and appropriately, the infant begins to assume that he or she has inherent power to affect the world. If the primary caregiver responds inappropriately and/or inconsistently, the infant learns to assume that he or she is powerless to affect the larger world and that his or her signals have no intrinsic significance where the universe is concerned. A child who receives really erratic and inconsistent responses from a primary caregiver, even if those responses are occasionally warm and sensitive, develops “anxious resistant attachment.” This pathway creates children who feature anxiety, dependence, and easy victimization. They are easily manipulated and exploited later in life. In the worst case, infants who receive no emotional response from the person or persons responsible for them are at high risk of learning a deep existential rage that makes them prone to violence and antisocial behavior as they grow up. Chronic unresponsiveness leads to what is called “anxious avoidance attachment,” a life pattern that features unquenchable anger, frustration, and aggressive, violent behavior.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
The abject impulse is inalienably connected with the feminine, specifically the maternal. As it forms out of the undefined morass of relations, surfaces and currents that existed before the Oedipal or mirror-stage coordinated them, the subject seems built around a primal sense of loss. The developing sense of the limits of the body is focussed on those holes in it's surface through which the outside becomes inside and vice versa: the mouth, anus, genitals, even the invisibly porous surface of the skin. It was the mother's body that was most connected with these crossing-points, as it fed and cleaned the undefined infant body. The sense that boundaries and limits are forming around this permable flesh is interpreted then as the withdrawal or even loss, of intimacy with the body of the mother, firstly in the increasing distance of the practical hygiene operations it performs and secondly, more remotely, beyond that in it's archaic ur-form as the body through which the child entered into the world.
Nick Mansfield
The areas of the cortex responsible for attention and self-regulation develop in response to the emotional interaction with the person whom we may call the mothering figure. Usually this is the birth mother, but it may be another person, male or female, depending on circumstances. The right hemisphere of the mother’s brain, the side where our unconscious emotions reside, programs the infant’s right hemisphere. In the early months, the most important communications between mother and infant are unconscious ones. Incapable of deciphering the meaning of words, the infant receives messages that are purely emotional. They are conveyed by the mother’s gaze, her tone of voice and her body language, all of which reflect her unconscious internal emotional environment. Anything that threatens the mother’s emotional security may disrupt the developing electrical wiring and chemical supplies of the infant brain’s emotion-regulating and attention-allocating systems. Within minutes following birth, the mother’s odors stimulate the branching of millions of nerve cells in the newborn’s brain. A six-day-old infant can already distinguish the scent of his mother from that of other women. Later on, visual inputs associated with emotions gradually take over as the major influences. By two to seven weeks, the infant will orient toward the mother’s face in preference to a stranger‘s — and also in preference to the father’s, unless the father is the mothering adult. At seventeen weeks, the infant’s gaze follows the mother’s eyes more closely than her mouth movements, thus fixating on what has been called “the visible portion of the mother’s central nervous system.” The infant’s right brain reads the mother’s right brain during intense eye-to-eye mutual gaze interactions. As an article in Scientific American expressed it, “Embryologically and anatomically the eye is an extension of the brain; it is almost as if a portion of the brain were in plain sight.” The eyes communicate eloquently the mother’s unconscious emotional states.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
If we stop trying to be present and instead tap into our breath, align our eyes and mind congruently, and respond to life’s invitations, presence finds us. Presence is what arises when we embrace all that life (and light) has to offer. When we stop searching, we start finding. By looking less, we see more. When we allow the light within us to merge with the light that guides us, we experience oneness. Without any effort, we relax into a state where we have no decisions to make. There is no confusion, second-guessing, thinking, or searching for answers. There is just beingness — an acceptance of life as it is. With presence, life becomes magical. We not only feel better, but our stress dissipates and our bodies heal. We respond to life more fluidly, developing an ability to be with whatever arises, flowing in response to life in the same way that children do. Infants and children do not look for anything; they simply respond to whatever calls their attention. When we reawaken this innate ability in ourselves, our lives transform radically. We enter a state that some call “the zone,” “the flow,” or even “genius consciousness,” in which “we” disappear and our knowledge is no longer limited to information received from the five senses. We become more empathetic toward ourselves and others, and more intuitive. Rather than reacting to one situation after another, we start flowing with life and, over time, we become increasingly aware of experiences just before they occur and can now “welcome” them. It is a miraculous state of being. What you might call the “divine inspiration” encoded in light moves us in a direction that is expansive, infusing us with a deep desire — beyond the wish for anything personal or material — to embrace our most potent longing for oneness with the vision we have been given. There remains only a witness who is present, spacious, and imperturbable. Everything appears clear and seems to scintillate. The resulting sense of peace is so blissful that it may bring tears to our eyes. No matter how many miracles we experience, each new wonder is always astounding, inviting in more such experiences and reminding us that all of life is literally beyond belief.
Jacob Israel Liberman (Luminous Life: How the Science of Light Unlocks the Art of Living)
The strength of Us/Them-ing is shown by its emergence in kids. By age three to four, kids already group people by race and gender, have more negative views of such Thems, and perceive other-race faces as being angrier than same-race faces.8 And even earlier. Infants learn same-race faces better than other-race. (How can you tell? Show an infant a picture of someone repeatedly; she looks at it less each time. Now show a different face—if she can’t tell the two apart, she barely glances at it. But if it’s recognized as being new, there’s excitement, and longer looking).9 Four important thoughts about kids dichotomizing: Are children learning these prejudices from their parents? Not necessarily. Kids grow in environments whose nonrandom stimuli tacitly pave the way for dichotomizing. If an infant sees faces of only one skin color, the salient thing about the first face with a different skin color will be the skin color. Racial dichotomies are formed during a crucial developmental period. As evidence, children adopted before age eight by someone of a different race develop the expertise at face recognition of the adoptive parent’s race.10
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
After gathering evidence on this for decades, Alan concluded that “none of what I originally believed turned out to be true,” and a “clear majority” of the kids who were later diagnosed “were not born to be ADHD. They developed these problems in reaction to their circumstances.” There was one crucial question, Alan said, that held the key to whether parents overcame these problems—one that seemed to me to tell us a lot about Sami’s work: Is there somebody giving you support? The families they studied sometimes got help from people around them. It usually wasn’t from a professional—they just found a supportive partner, or a group of friends. When their social support went up in this way, they found “the children are less likely to have problems at the next stage.” Why would this be? Alan wrote: “Parents experiencing less stress can be more responsive to their infants; then infants can become more secure.” This effect was so large that “the strongest predictor of positive change was an increase in social support available to the parents during the intervening years.” Social support is, I reflected, the main thing Sami provides to families whose children struggle with attention.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention - and How to Think Deeply Again)
Social science now tells us that if we can take indigent girls between the ages of 10 and 14 and give them a basic education, we can change the fabric of an entire community. If we can capture them in that fleeting window, great social advances can be achieved. Give enough young girls an education and per capita income will go up; infant mortality will go down; the rate of economic growth will increase; the rate of HIV/AIDS infection will fall. Child marriages will be less common; child labor, too. Better farming practices will be put into place, which means better nutrition will follow, and overall family health in that community will climb. Educated girls, as former World Bank official Barbara Herz has written, tend to insist that their children be educated. And when a nation has smaller, healthier, better-educated families, economic productivity shoots up, environmental pressures ease, and everyone is better-off. As Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard University president, put it: “Educating girls may be the single highest return investment available in the developing world.” Why is that? Well, you can make all the interpretations you like; you can posit the gendered arguments; but the numbers do not lie.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Best American Travel Writing 2013)
The story of Adam and Eve, as used by the Eastern church to account for our inherited weakness to withstand temptation as an effect of Adam and Eve's sin, can fruitfully be understood today without a historical Adam and Eve but instead with an evolutionary and social understanding of human beings. In the course of biological and social evolution, any group of creatures capable of any degree of relationship to God that fails to be properly related to God commensurate with their stage of development-any such group will have some network or other of social relations that are not as God intends. People born into a particular social group inherit that social network and act more or less in accord with it, and so inherit the effects of its sin. By being formed and shaped by the inherited social network, each individual is "weakened" in its ability to wrestle with the temptations to which its ontological nature as finite creature is subject. When a fall occurred, when a prepeople or people did not live up to the intentions of God in their common life commensurate to their stage of development, it was probably not at any one specific time; it may have occurred at different times for different groups until failure to be properly related to God was universal in all societies. But by historic times, human development is at a stage that the story of Adam and Eve is a fitting type or model of our situation in relation to God: human beings seeking to provide for themselves apart from God and God's purposes. This ancient understanding of original sin and evil seems to me both illuminating and, with the evolutionary understanding that I have added to it, thoroughly defensible. I can easily apply it to myself and also use it to understand other people, as I have done in presenting Pascal's analysis of our condition. Some theologians are willing to grant that the story of an actual Adam and Eve is not necessary for Christian theology, but they still hold that there had to have been a historical situation of original righteousness or innocence and an actual fall from this state. Otherwise, God, not human beings, would be responsible for our condition, and the goodness of creation would be fatally compromised.' My account does have a temporal dimension. All of us are born without an awareness of God in our lives. God is near us as our creator, generating us each moment of time; but it is as if God is, so to speak, behind us, and we, by looking only in front of us, do not perceive God in our world at all. So we do not take God into account in our lives. This is when distortion in our hearts, minds, and desires begins to occur. Our de facto personality, with our self at the center of all reality, is innocent when we are an infant but ceases to be innocent as it is reinforced by society's way of life, encouraging us to walk away from God and so into evil. We walk away from God by pursuing earthly goods and in
Diogenes Allen (Theology for a Troubled Believer: An Introduction to the Christian Faith)
Here our new-world preoccupation with independence gets in the way. We have no problem inviting the dependence of infants, but past that phase, independence becomes our primary agenda. Whether it is for our children to dress themselves, feed themselves, settle themselves, entertain themselves, think for themselves, solve their own problems, the story is the same: we champion independence—or what we believe is independence. We fear that to invite dependence is to invite regression instead of development, that if we give dependence an inch, it will take a mile. What we are really encouraging with this attitude is not true independence, only independence from us. Dependence is transferred to the peer group. In thousands of little ways, we pull and push our children to grow up, hurrying them along instead of inviting them to rest. We are pushing them away from us rather than bringing them to us. We could never court each other as adults by resisting dependence. Can you imagine the effect on wooing if we conveyed the message “Don't expect me to help you with anything I think you could or should be able to do yourself”? It is doubtful that the relationship would ever be cemented. In courtship, we are full of “Here, let me give you a hand,” “I'll help you with that,” “It would be my pleasure,” “Your problems are my problems.” If we can do this with adults, should we not be able to invite the dependence of children who are truly in need of someone to lean on?
Gordon Neufeld (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
In short, the combined effects of lower infant mortality, higher longevity, and increased fertility have fueled an explosion in the world’s population, as figure 18 graphs. Since population growth is intrinsically exponential, even small increases in fertility or decreases in mortality spark rapid population growth. If an initial population of 1 million people grows at 3.5 percent per year, then it will roughly double every generation, growing to 2 million in twenty years, 4 million in forty years, and so on, reaching 32 million in a hundred years. In actual fact, the global growth rate peaked in 1963 at 2.2 percent per year and has since declined to about 1.1 percent per year,60 which translates into a doubling rate of every sixty-four years. In the fifty years between 1960 and 2010, the world’s population more than doubled, from 3 to 6.9 billion people. At current rates of growth, we can expect 14 billion people at the end of this century. FIGURE 21. The demographic transition model. Following economic development, death rates tend to fall before birth rates decrease, resulting in an initial population boom that eventually levels off. This controversial model, however, only applies to some countries. One major by-product of population growth plus the concentration of wealth in cities has been a shift to more urbanization. In 1800, only 25 million people lived in cities, about 3 percent of the world’s population. In 2010, about 3.3 billion people, half the world’s population, are city dwellers.
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
Child psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley learned the same thing when they recorded hundreds of hours of interactions between children and adults in forty-two families from across a wide socioeconomic spectrum and assessed the children’s development from nine months to three years. Children in well-to-do families, whose parents were typically college-educated professionals, heard an average of 2,153 words an hour spoken to them. In contrast, the children of low-income families heard an average only 616 words per hour. By their third birthday, the children in well-to-do families heard 30 million more words than economically deprived children and the amount of conversation parents had with their infants was directly proportional to IQ test scores assessed at three years of age and the performance in school of these children at ages nine and ten. (Hart and Risley 2003) The exciting part is that Hart and Risley’s research has spawned conscious parenting initiatives thanks to technology in the form of LENA (Language Environment Analysis) devices. LENA devices work like pedometers except they keep track of words rather than steps. The Thirty Million Words Initiative in Chicago is making LENA devices available to parents so they can track the numbers of words they expose their children to. After six weeks, researchers in Chicago found a 32 percent increase in the number of words the children heard. Says Dr. Dana Suskind, Director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative: “Every parent has the ability to grow their children’s brain and impact their future.” (Suskind 2013)
Bruce H. Lipton (The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles)
Just how important a close moment-to-moment connection between mother and infant can be was illustrated by a cleverly designed study, known as the “double TV experiment,” in which infants and mothers interacted via a closed-circuit television system. In separate rooms, infant and mother observed each other and, on “live feed,” communicated by means of the universal infant-mother language: gestures, sounds, smiles, facial expressions. The infants were happy during this phase of the experiment. “When the infants were unknowingly replayed the ‘happy responses’ from the mother recorded from the prior minute,” writes the UCLA child psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel, “they still became as profoundly distressed as infants do in the classic ‘flat face’ experiments in which mothers-in-person gave no facial emotional response to their infant’s bid for attunement.” Why were the infants distressed despite the sight of their mothers’ happy and friendly faces? Because happy and friendly are not enough. What they needed were signals that the mother is aligned with, responsive to and participating in their mental states from moment to moment. All that was lacking in the instant video replay, during which infants saw their mother’s face unresponsive to the messages they, the infants, were sending out. This sharing of emotional spaces is called attunement. Emotional stress on the mother interferes with infant brain development because it tends to interfere with the attunement contact. Attunement is necessary for the normal development of the brain pathways and neurochemical apparatus of attention and emotional selfregulation. It is a finely calibrated process requiring that the parent remain herself in a relatively nonstressed, non-anxious, nondepressed state of mind. Its clearest expression is the rapturous mutual gaze infant and mother direct at each other, locked in a private and special emotional realm, from which, at that moment, the rest of the world is as completely excluded as from the womb. Attunement does not mean mechanically imitating the infant. It cannot be simulated, even with the best of goodwill. As we all know, there are differences between a real smile and a staged smile. The muscles of smiling are exactly the same in each case, but the signals that set the smile muscles to work do not come from the same centers in the brain. As a consequence, those muscles respond differently to the signals, depending on their origin. This is why only very good actors can mimic a genuine, heartfelt smile. The attunement process is far too subtle to be maintained by a simple act of will on the part of the parent. Infants, particularly sensitive infants, intuit the difference between a parent’s real psychological states and her attempts to soothe and protect the infant by means of feigned emotional expressions. A loving parent who is feeling depressed or anxious may try to hide that fact from the infant, but the effort is futile. In fact, it is much easier to fool an adult with forced emotion than a baby. The emotional sensory radar of the infant has not yet been scrambled. It reads feelings clearly. They cannot be hidden from the infant behind a screen of words, or camouflaged by well-meant but forced gestures. It is unfortunate but true that we grow far more stupid than that by the time we reach adulthood.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
To understand how shame is influenced by culture, we need to think back to when we were children or young adults, and we first learned how important it is to be liked, to fit in, and to please others. The lessons were often taught by shame; sometimes overtly, other times covertly. Regardless of how they happened, we can all recall experiences of feeling rejected, diminished and ridiculed. Eventually, we learned to fear these feelings. We learned how to change our behaviors, thinking and feelings to avoid feeling shame. In the process, we changed who we were and, in many instances, who we are now. Our culture teaches us about shame—it dictates what is acceptable and what is not. We weren’t born craving perfect bodies. We weren’t born afraid to tell our stories. We weren’t born with a fear of getting too old to feel valuable. We weren’t born with a Pottery Barn catalog in one hand and heartbreaking debt in the other. Shame comes from outside of us—from the messages and expectations of our culture. What comes from the inside of us is a very human need to belong, to relate. We are wired for connection. It’s in our biology. As infants, our need for connection is about survival. As we grow older, connection means thriving—emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually. Connection is critical because we all have the basic need to feel accepted and to believe that we belong and are valued for who we are. Shame unravels our connection to others. In fact, I often refer to shame as the fear of disconnection—the fear of being perceived as flawed and unworthy of acceptance or belonging. Shame keeps us from telling our own stories and prevents us from listening to others tell their stories. We silence our voices and keep our secrets out of the fear of disconnection. When we hear others talk about their shame, we often blame them as a way to protect ourselves from feeling uncomfortable. Hearing someone talk about a shaming experience can sometimes be as painful as actually experiencing it for ourselves. Like courage, empathy and compassion are critical components of shame resilience. Practicing compassion allows us to hear shame. Empathy, the most powerful tool of compassion, is an emotional skill that allows us to respond to others in a meaningful, caring way. Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes—to understand what someone is experiencing and to reflect back that understanding. When we share a difficult experience with someone, and that person responds in an open, deeply connected way—that’s empathy. Developing empathy can enrich the relationships we have with our partners, colleagues, family members and children. In Chapter 2, I’ll discuss the concept of empathy in great detail. You’ll learn how it works, how we can learn to be empathic and why the opposite of experiencing shame is experiencing empathy. The prerequisite for empathy is compassion. We can only respond empathically if we are willing to hear someone’s pain. We sometimes think of compassion as a saintlike virtue. It’s not. In fact, compassion is possible for anyone who can accept the struggles that make us human—our fears, imperfections, losses and shame. We can only respond compassionately to someone telling her story if we have embraced our own story—shame and all. Compassion is not a virtue—it is a commitment.
Anonymous
The new-born infant cries, his early days are spent in crying. He is alternately petted and shaken by way of soothing him; sometimes he is threatened, sometimes beaten, to keep him quiet. We do what he wants or we make him do what we want, we submit to his whims or subject him to our own. There is no middle course; he must rule or obey. Thus his earliest ideas are those of the tyrant or the slave. He commands before he can speak, he obeys before he can act, and sometimes he is punished for faults before he is aware of them, or rather before they are committed. Thus early are the seeds of evil passions sown in his young heart. At a later day these are attributed to nature, and when we have taken pains to make him bad we lament his badness. In this way the child passes six or seven years in the hands of women, the victim of his own caprices or theirs, and after they have taught him all sorts of things, when they have burdened his memory with words he cannot understand, or things which are of no use to him, when nature has been stifled by the passions they have implanted in him, this sham article is sent to a tutor. The tutor completes the development of the germs of artificiality which he finds already well grown, he teaches him everything except self-knowledge and self-control, the arts of life and happiness. When at length this infant slave and tyrant, crammed with knowledge but empty of sense, feeble alike in mind and body, is flung upon the world, and his helplessness, his pride, and his other vices are displayed, we begin to lament the wretchedness and perversity of mankind. We are wrong; this is the creature of our fantasy; the natural man is cast in another mould.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract, Confessions, Emile, and Other Essays (Halcyon Classics))
We believe that the caregiver’s capacity to observe the moment-to-moment changes in the child’s mental state is critical in the development of mentalizing capacity. The caregiver’s perception of the child as an intentional being lies at the root of sensitive caregiving, which attachment theorists view as the cornerstone of secure attachment (Ainsworth et al. 1978; Bates, Maslin, and Frankel 1985; Belsky and Isabella 1988; Egeland and Farber 1984; Grossmann, Grossmann, Spangler, Suess, and Unzner 1985; Isabella 1993; Isabella and Belsky 1991). Secure attachment, in its turn, provides the psychosocial basis for acquiring an understanding of mind. The secure infant feels safe in making attributions of mental states to account for the behavior of the caregiver. In contrast the avoidant child shuns to some degree the mental state of the other, while the resistant child focuses on its own state of distress, to the exclusion of close intersubjective exchanges. Disorganized infants may represent a special category: hypervigilant of the caregiver’s behavior, they use all cues available for prediction; they may be acutely sensitized to intentional states and thus may be more ready to construct a mentalized account of the caregiver’s behavior. We would argue (see below) that in such children mentalization may be evident, but it does not have the central role in self-organization that characterizes securely attached children. We believe that what is most important for the development of mentalizing self-organization is the exploration of the mental state of the sensitive caregiver, which enables the child to find in the caregiver’s mind (that is, in the hypothetical representation of her mind that he constructs to explain her behavior toward him) an image of himself as motivated by beliefs, feelings, and intentions. In contrast, what the disorganized child is scanning for so intently is not the representation of his own mental states in the mind of the other, but the mental states of that other that threaten to undermine his own self.
Peter Fonagy (Affect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of the Self)
When we made up our minds to leave for Medina,” one emigrant would remember, “three of us arranged to meet in the morning at the thorn trees of Adat,” about six miles outside Mecca. “We agreed that if one of us failed to appear, that would mean that he had been kept back by force, and the other two should go on without him.” Only two of them reached Adat. The third was intercepted halfway there by one of his uncles, accompanied by abu-Jahl, who told him that his mother had vowed she would neither comb her hair nor take shelter from the sun until she had seen him again. On the way back, they pushed him to the ground, tied him up, and forced him to recant islam. This was how it should be done, the uncle declared: “Oh men of Mecca, deal with your fools as we have dealt with this fool of ours.” Women were not dealt with much more kindly. Umm Salama, who was later to become Muhammad’s fourth wife after she was widowed, told how her kinsmen were enraged when they saw her setting out by camel with her then husband and their infant son. “You can do as you like,” they told her husband, “but don’t think we will let you take our kinswoman away.” “They snatched the camel’s rope from my husband’s hand and took me from him,” she remembered. Then to make matters worse, her in-laws turned up, and a tussle developed over who would take custody of the child she was cradling in her arms—her family or her husband’s family. “We cannot leave the boy with you now that you have torn his mother from our kinsman,” her in-laws declared, and to her horror, both sides “dragged at my little boy between them until they dislocated his shoulder.” In the end, her husband’s family took the child, Umm Salama’s family took her, and her husband left alone for Medina. “Thus was I separated from both my husband and my son,” she would say. There was nothing she could do but “sit in the valley every day and weep” until both families finally relented. “Then I saddled my camel and took my son in my arms, and set forth for my husband in Medina. Not a soul was with me.
Lesley Hazleton (The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad)
Why does a kid cry? Kids got no other way to ask for help but to cry. Crying is a sign of distress and they want their stress to be over. We are distressed when our needs are not being met. So if we're hungry, a baby will cry. If they are uncomfortable because their diapers are dirty and wet, they are gonna cry. If they need attachment contact, they will cry. When our needs are met, the child is soothed and eased and their nervous system relaxes. When the needs are denied, the child gets more riled up. When the child is riled up you get stress hormones going through the whole body to the brain. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, particular cortisol, interferes with healthy brain development. When we don't pick up our kids, we're interfering with their brain development. You didn't have to tell aboriginal people this. But in our modern society, you have to teach this and people say "oh my God! Really? That's not what my doctor told me. He told me not to pick up my kid and let him cry through the night." So what I am saying is, from the very beginning, in this society, we are denying people's essential needs for healthy development. Right from the get-go. And I haven't even said anything about how we medicalize birth and people no longer have natural births and that itself is a problem. And then we live in a very stressed society, so the parents are stressed. And when the parents are stressed, the kids are stressed. Because children have no self-regulation, so if you are stressed as an adult, if you are mature enough, you can regulate yourself, you can take a few breaths, you can calm yourself down, you can say "let me slow down, let me think about this, let me deal with this." An infant can't do that. An infant has no self-regulation whatsoever. You know what it is like when you are upset? Your heart is racing, your blood pressure goes up, your nervous system is on fire, your guts might be churning or stopping, muscles are tense, everything changes about you. The same with the infant, except the infant has no capacity to regulate himself. The infant's brain requires the mature function of the adult's brain to regulate it. But what if the adult's brain is not functioning maturely because these adults themselves never got the right conditions for the healthy development? Now we have an immature adult's brain regulating or trying to regulate an immature infant's brain. Then that self-regulation never develops.
Gabor Maté
The human brain is the most complex entity in the universe. It has between fifty and one hundred billion nerve cells, or neurons, each branched to form thousands of possible connections with other nerve cells. It has been estimated that laid end to end, the nerve cables of a single human brain would extend into a line several hundred thousand miles long. The total number of connections, or synapses, is in the trillions. The parallel and simultaneous activity of innumerable brain circuits, and networks of circuits, produces millions of firing patterns each and every second of our lives. The brain has well been described as “a supersystcm of systems.” Even though fully half of the roughly hundred thousand genes in the human organism are dedicated to the central nervous system, the genetic code simply cannot carry enough information to predetermine the infinite number of potential brain circuits. For this reason alone, biological heredity could not by itself account for the densely intertwined psychology and neurophysiology of attention deficit disorder. Experience in the world determines the fine wiring of the brain. As the neurologist and neuroscientist Antonio Damasio puts it, “Much of each brain’s circuitry, at any given moment in adult life, is individual and unique, truly reflective of that particular organism’s history and circumstances.” This is no less true of children and infants. Not even in the brains of genetically identical twins will the same patterns be found in the shape of nerve cells or the numbers and configuration of their synapses with other neurons. The microcircuitry of the brain is formatted by influences during the first few years of life, a period when the human brain undergoes astonishingly rapid growth. Five-sixths of the branching of nerve cells in the brain occurs after birth. At times in the first year of life, new synapses are being established at a rate of three billion a second. In large part, each infant’s individual experiences in the early years determine which brain structures will develop and how well, and which nerve centers will be connected with which other nerve centers, and establish the networks controlling behavior. The intricately programmed interactions between heredity and environment that make for the development of the human brain are determined by a “fantastic, almost surrealistically complex choreography,” in the apt phrase of Dr. J. S. Grotstein of the department of psychiatry at UCLA. Attention deficit disorder results from the miswiring of brain circuits, in susceptible infants, during this crucial period of growth.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
The materials we provide from 0 to 3 determine what finger grips children will use and what stories they will tell. The purpose is not to create “artsy” products but to develop the hand skills that are required for any endeavor, because movement occupies the same real estate in the brain as thinking. Because each material causes children to move the hand in different ways, materials powerfully stimulate thinking (Ratey, 2002). Diverse materials are equally important to awaken interest in different children. From birth each child is unique; each group and each individual has different interests. Having varied materials ensures that there is something for everyone.
Ann Lewin-Benham (Infants and Toddlers at Work: Using Reggio-Inspired Materials to Support Brain Development (Early Childhood Education Series))
Empiricism is not just an empirical method but also a theory of experience. Essentially, it conceives of human beings as passive and sense perception as providing replicas or copies of reality that are based on association. As key proponents of empiricism, Piaget identified Hume, Locke, and behaviorist stimulus-response theories, but he also thought that empiricism is trenchant in psychology (and, one might add, even today, see Müller & Giesbrecht, 2008). According to Piaget, empiricists misconstrue the fundamentally active relation between infant and environment as a passive, causal relation: “Even before language begins, the young infant reacts to objects not by a mechanical set of stimulus-response associations but by an integrative assimilation to schemes of action, which impress a direction on his activities and include the satisfaction of a need or an interest” (Piaget, 1965/1971, p. 131; see also OI, p. 411). Furthermore, Piaget (1970) rejected the idea that knowledge is a copy of reality. Rather, he was influenced by Kant's (1787/1929) idea that objectivity is constituted by the subject (see Chapter 3, this volume). Kant argued that our intuition (i.e., sensibility) and understanding use a priori (i.e., independent of all experience) forms and categories, which are the condition of the possibility for experiencing objectivity. Piaget subscribed to the ordering and organizing function of the mind, but he believed that the forms and categories are not a priori but undergo development as a result of the subject's interaction with the world (OI, pp. 376–395).
Ulrich Müller (The Cambridge Companion to Piaget (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy))
It is true that many creative people fail to make mature personal relationships, and some are extremely isolated. It is also true that, in some instances, trauma, in the shape of early separation or bereavement, has steered the potentially creative person toward developing aspects of his personality which can find fulfillment in comparative isolation. But this does not mean that solitary, creative pursuits are themselves pathological.... [A]voidance behavior is a response designed to protect the infant from behavioural disorganization. If we transfer this concept to adult life, we can see that an avoidant infant might very well develop into a person whose principal need was to find some kind of meaning and order in life which was not entirely, or even chiefly, dependent upon interpersonal relationships.
Anthony Storr
The gentle motion a baby experiences during babywearing stimulates the vestibular system, and scientists are finding that this stimulation helps babies breathe and grow better, regulates their physiology, and improves motor development. This is especially true for premature infants. Some babies recognize on their own that they need vestibular stimulation. When deprived of it, they often attempt to put themselves into motion and develop self-rocking behaviors.
William Sears (The Attachment Parenting Book: A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby (Sears Parenting Library))
As a young person I was taught that becoming a Christian meant that I had arrived. But trusting Christ as Savior is only the beginning of a lifelong process of spiritual transformation and training in discipleship. We begin the journey as spiritual infants, but God intends that we advance to spiritual adulthood.
Bruce A. Demarest (Seasons of the Soul: Stages of Spiritual Development)
The development of the infant food industry has depended on the repeated testing of unproven products on unsuspecting consumers without their informed consent.
Gabrielle Palmer (The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business)
neurobiologist Allan Schore says, “The mother is downloading emotion programs into the infant’s right brain. The child is using the output of the mother’s right hemisphere as a template for the imprinting, the hardwiring, of circuits in his own right hemisphere.”2 You’re even determining the size of his hippocampi3 (more development confers better learning, stress management, and mental health), anterior cingulate (emotional regulation), and amygdala (emotional reactivity).
Laura Markham (Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting (The Peaceful Parent Series))
It was near the end of the year 1906, and I had just returned from Milan, where I had been one of a committee at the International Exhibition for the assignment of prizes in the subjects of Scientific Pedagogy and Experimental Psychology. A great opportunity came to me, for I was invited by Edoardo Talamo, the Director General of the Roman Association for Good Building, to undertake the organisation of infant schools in its model tenements. It was Signor Talamo's happy idea to gather together in a large room all the little ones between the ages of three and seven belonging to the families living in the tenement. The play and work of these children was to be carried on under the guidance of a teacher who should have her own apartment in the tenement house. It was intended that every house should have its school, and as the Association for Good Building already owned more than 400 tenements in Rome the work seemed to offer tremendous possibilities of development. The first school was to be established in January, 1907, in a large tenement house in the Quarter of San Lorenzo. In the same Quarter the Association already owned fifty-eight buildings, and according to Signor Talamo's plans we should soon be able to open sixteen of these "schools within the house.
Maria Montessori (The Montessori Method Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in 'The Children's Houses' with Additions and Revisions by the Author)
attachment theorists argue that the mother-infant bond forms a kind of relationship template which the developing person then transfers to his or her important relationships later in life. How much adaptive sense would this really make? The quality of your attachment to your mother is very important for your relationship with your mother, which is a very important relationship. But there is no reason to believe that the type of interaction provided within this one relationship is going to turn out to be predictive of all the interactions you encounter throughout your life. Your mother might be eccentric, or ill, or have heavy commitments other than you. It would make little evolutionary sense to calibrate your whole personality on something so idiosyncratic. This is consistent with the evidence from attachment studies. Children of depressed mothers are unusually subdued in interaction with their mothers. However, this disappears when they are with their nursery teachers, with whom they behave normally. Of course; what they learn from their interactions with their mothers is what their mothers are like, not what the world is like.7
Daniel Nettle (Personality: What makes you the way you are (Oxford Landmark Science))
Americans spend an average of about $7,200 a year on health care, compared with the roughly $2,900 average for the other market economies that make up the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and for that greatly increased outlay we get higher infant mortality, higher obesity rates, lower longevity, fewer doctors per 1,000 people (just 2.4 per 1,000 in the United States, compared with 3.1 in OECD states), and fewer acute care hospital beds (2.7 per 1,000, compared to 3.8 per 1,000 in the OECD countries).
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
There is nothing more tragic in my mind than to see the Christian with arrested development. He knows Christ, he knows the power of God, and he has the power of the Spirit living within him, yet he remains an infant. He is like the seed that Jesus talked about, that fell into the ground, sprouted, but is choked out by the cares of this world.
Patrick Davis (Because You Asked)
Neurotoxin: Arsenic Sources: Pesticide that has been found in rice; brown rice syrup and products containing this syrup (cereal and energy bars, toddler formula, and high-energy foods for athletes); apple juice; and grape juice Effects on the Brain and Body: Long-term exposure to arsenic at low levels has been linked to skin and lung cancers and cardiovascular disease. It may contribute to problems in pregnancy, such as miscarriage and low birth weight, and may cause problems in breathing and brain development in infants.
Vani Hari (The Food Babe Way: Break Free from the Hidden Toxins in Your Food and Lose Weight, Look Years Younger, and Get Healthy in Just 21 Days!)
Contemporary causal representational approaches to infant development, such as Baillargeon's, represent, in this respect, a step backward because they ignore epistemological questions and are unaware of their own epistemological commitments.
Ulrich Müller (The Cambridge Companion to Piaget (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy))
as Piaget (1970, p. 705) noted, the study of infant development “raises all the main issues in the theory of knowledge.
Ulrich Müller (The Cambridge Companion to Piaget (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy))