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Sleep reinforces learning

Feb 27th, 2013 Posted in Child Development | No Comments »

This is from Science Daily:

During sleep, our brains store what we have learned during the day ‒ a process even more effective in children than in adults.

It is important for children to get enough sleep. Children’s brains transform subconsciously learned material into active knowledge while they sleep — even more effectively than adult brains do, according to a study by Dr. Ines Wilhelm of the University of Tübingen’s Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology. Dr Wilhelm and her Swiss and German colleagues have published their results in Nature Neuroscience.

Studies of adults have shown that sleeping after learning supports the long-term storage of the material learned, says Dr Wilhelm. During sleep, memory is turned into a form that makes future learning easier; implicit knowledge becomes explicit and therefore becomes more easily transferred to other areas.

Children sleep longer and deeper, and they must take on enormous amounts of information every day. In the current study, the researchers examined the ability to form explicit knowledge via an implicitly-learned motor task. Children between 8 and 11, and young adults, learned to guess the predetermined series of actions — without being aware of the existence of the series itself. Following a night of sleep or a day awake, the subjects’ memories were tested. The result: after a night’s sleep, both age groups could remember a larger number of elements from the row of numbers than those who had remained awake in the interim. And the children were much better at it than the adults.

“In children, much more efficient explicit knowledge is generated during sleep from a previously learned implicit task, says Wilhelm. And the children’s extraordinary ability is linked with the large amount of deep sleep they get at night. “The formation of explicit knowledge appears to be a very specific ability of childhood sleep, since children typically benefit as much or less than adults from sleep when it comes to other types of memory tasks.”

Baby’s Milestone

Dec 30th, 2011 Posted in Child Development | No Comments »

From babycenter.com.

Looks like Dan is outperforming – he can do mini pushups from week one – good boy.


Child’s Age

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
1 month Lifts head when lying on tummy
Responds to sound
Stares at faces
Follows objects briefly with eyes
Vocalizes: oohs and aahs
Can see black-and-white patterns
Smiles, laughs
Holds head at 45-degree angle
2 months Vocalizes: gurgles and coos
Follows objects across field of vision
Notices his hands
Holds head up for short periods
Smiles, laughs
Holds head at 45-degree angle
Makes smoother movements
Holds head steady
Can bear weight on legs
Lifts head and shoulders when lying on tummy (mini-pushup)
3 months Recognizes your face and scent
Holds head steady
Visually tracks moving objects
Squeals, gurgles, coos
Blows bubbles
Recognizes your voice
Does mini-pushup
Rolls over, from tummy to back
Turns toward loud sounds
Can bring hands together, bats at toys
4 months Smiles, laughs
Can bear weight on legs
Coos when you talk to him
Can grasp a toy
Rolls over, from tummy to back
Imitates sounds: “baba,” “dada”
Cuts first tooth
May be ready for solid foods
5 months Distinguishes between bold colors
Plays with his hands and feet
Recognizes own name
Turns toward new sounds
Rolls over in both directions
Sits momentarily without support
Mouths objects
Separation anxiety may begin
6 months Turns toward sounds and voices
Imitates sounds
Rolls over in both directions
Is ready for solid foods
Sits without support
Mouths objects
Passes objects from hand to hand
Lunges forward or starts crawling
Jabbers or combines syllables
Drags objects toward himself

On to the next chart: 7 to 12 months

Visualization from conception to birth

Nov 30th, 2011 Posted in Child Development | No Comments »

amazing MRI-made graphics:

Baby’s sight development

Nov 23rd, 2011 Posted in Child Development | No Comments »

From babycenter.com:

 

Sight

From the day your baby’s born, his eyes will aid his physical, mental, and emotional development by allowing him to take in information — a little bit at first, and eventually much more — about the world around him.

When it develops

Unlike a baby’s hearing, which is fully mature by the end of his first month outside the womb, the sense of sight develops gradually over 6 to 8 months, at which point your baby will see the world almost as well as you do.

While your newborn’s eyes are physically capable of seeing just fine at birth, his brain isn’t ready to process all that visual information, so things stay pretty fuzzy for a while. As his brain develops, so does his ability to see clearly, giving him the tools he needs to understand and manage his environment. Though your baby starts out life being able to see only as far as your face when you hold him, his range of clarity grows steadily, month by month.

How it develops

At first your baby can’t focus farther than 8 to 15 inches away — just far enough to make out the face of the person holding him. He can detect light, shapes, and movement beyond that, but it’s all pretty blurry right now. Appropriately enough, your face is the most fascinating thing to your baby at this age (followed by high-contrast patterns such as a checkerboard), so be sure to give him plenty of up-close time.

1 month
At birth your baby didn’t know how to use his eyes in tandem, so they may have wandered randomly or even crossed now and then. This month or next, he’ll be able to consistently focus both eyes and track a moving object. A rattle passed in front of his face will often transfix him as he explores this newfound ability. He may also enjoy playing eyes-to-eyes with you: With your face very close to his, move your head slowly from side to side, with your eyes and his eyes locked.

2 months
Your baby could see color from birth, but he had difficulty distinguishing similar tones, such as red and orange. That’s one reason he preferred black-and-white or high-contrast patterns. For the next few months, his brain’s at work learning to distinguish colors. As a result, he’ll probably begin to show a preference for bright primary colors and more detailed and complicated designs. Encourage this development by showing him pictures, photos, books, and toys. For the next couple of months, he’ll also be perfecting his object-tracking skills.

….

4 months on…

Link to the full text.

Baby’s thinking

Oct 28th, 2011 Posted in Child Development, Video | No Comments »