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infant stimulation: intelligence

steve madison s.madison at sympatico.ca
Sun Feb 28 23:43:04 EST 1999

Michael Edelman wrote:

> F. Frank LeFever wrote:
> > Long ago (e.g. 40 years ago?) the concept of "critical periods"
> > developed out of experiments in which animals (cats, usually?) were
> > deprived of normal pattern vision (translucent goggles? I forget), and
> > normal pattern vision never developed IF the period of deprivation was
> > at certain (early) age.
> Right-  Hubel & Weisel. They got the Nobel for this (along with Roger
> Sperry). They showed that the tytpes of pattern-responding cells that
> developed in visual cortex was dependant on early experience.
> > On the OTHER hand, there have been studies with rats in raised in
> > rather sparsely furnished cages compared with those raised in
> > "enriched" environments--opportunities for much climbing, exploration,
> > objects to manipulate, etc.  I believe these studies showed differences
> > at behavioral, neuroanatomical (histological) and neurochemical levels,
> > showing an advantage for enriched rearing.
> True.
> What we can learn form this: Don't rely on Time and Newsweek to deliver
> scientific reporting. ;-) The more stimulation you can provide to a child,
> the better, and the earlier you provide it, the better. One of the
> strongest early-childhood correlates to later academic success is whether
> the child was read to. Surprise.

hmm.  not to rain on anyones parade but i have read that "the more the better"
is not always true.  wish i still had the reference to back this up and be
100% sure about the results but i recall that you can interfere with learning
(which makes sense from a cognitive psychologist's point of view).  the
particular study looked at writing.  traditionally children are taught print
first.  and just when they are getting the hang of it and ready to make real
progress they are taught cursive script.  the article suggested that this
interfered and delayed learning.  anyone have more info on this.regardless, i
do agree that enriched environments are an advantage.  somewhat off topic.
i'm sure we've all seen the studies on classical music exposure and musical
training enhances mathematical/learning skills.  has anyone seen similar
studies about computers?  me either.  so why are schools cutting music
programs for hooking kids up to the internet?  seems silly to me.

> In <nospam-2002990011020001 at iq-ind-as001-219.iquest.net>
> > nospam at nospm.com (LauraMom) writes:
> > >
> > .....  And, of course, I suppose that I want
> > >to believe that all the parenting work I put in mattered :)
> It did.
> --
> Michael Edelman

  steve madison
looking for a ph.d. supervisor
formerly neuromuscular research lab
laurentian university

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