Research on the development of human infants has revealed remarkable capacities in recent years. Instead of stressing the limitations of the newborn, the modern approach is now more optimistically based on an assessment of the adaptive capabilities of the infant. Innate endowment, coupled with interaction with the physical and social environment, enables a developmental transition from processes deeply rooted in early perception and action to the cognitive and language abilities typical of the toddler.; This book reviews a number of issues in early human development. It includes a reconceptualization of the role of perception at the origins of development, a reconciliation of psychophysical and ecological approaches to early face perception, and building bridges between biological and psychological aspects of development in terms of brain structure and function. Topics covered include basic exploratory processes of early visual systems in early perception and action; face perception in newborns, species typical aspects of human communication, imitation, perception of the phonetic structure of speech, origins of the pointing gesture, handedness origins and development, theoretical contributions on perception and cognition, implicit and explicit knowledge in babies; sensory-motor coordination and cognition, information processing and cognition, perception, habituation and the development of intelligence from infancy.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Visual System in Early Development. J. Atkinson, The "Where and What" or "Who and How" of Visual Development. R.O. Gilmore, M.H. Johnson, Learning What is Where: Oculomotor Contributions to the Development of Spatial Cognition. C. von Hofsten, K. Rosander, The Establishment of Gaze Control in Early Infancy. Part II: Face Perception: Psychological and Neurological Models. I.W.R. Bushnell, The Origins of Face Perception. F. Simion, E. Valenza, C. Umiltà, Mechanisms Underlying Face Preference at Birth. S. de Schonen, J. Mancini, F. Leigeois, About Functional Cortical Specialization: The Development of Face Recognition. A. Slater, S.P. Johnson, Visual, Sensory and Perceptual Abilities of the Newborn: Beyond the Blooming, Buzzing Confusion. Part III: Perception, Action and Communication. O. Maratos, Neonatal Early and Later Imitation: Same Order Phenomena? J. Bertoncini, Initial Capacities for Speech Processing: Infants' Attention to Prosodic Cues to Segmentation. G. Butterworth, What is Special About Pointing in Babies? B. Hopkins, L. Rönnquist, Human Handedness: Developmental and Evolutionary Perspectives. Part IV: Perception and Cognition. G. Bremner, From Perception to Action: The Early Development of Knowledge. H. Bloch, Sensory-Motor Coordinations: Their Relation to Cognition. L.B. Cohen, An Information-Processing Approach to Infant Perception and Cognition. M.H. Bornstein, Stability in Mental Development from Early Life: Methods,
'This book is a 'must read' for anyone working in the field, both for its content and for its rich source for references into the wider literature. The treatment through the book is refreshingly, truly developmental. The authors carefully locate findings at specific age-points and discuss progression, rather than talking globally about 'infants and their abilities' without regard to age, as has too often been the base previously. The authors are also, in the main, laudably cautious in making claims about infant experience on the basis of experimental results, and they avoid falling into the trap of 'nativist rhetoric', as Leslie Cohen puts it in his chapter on information processing. This book is a challenging but rewarding collection for undergraduats, and an invaluabel resource for researchers.' - John Oates, Open University, in the Psychologist vol.13 2000
`... the volume by Simion and Butterworth is one of the best in a decade and deserves serious reading by serious students and contributors to the field of infancy.' - Richard N. Aslin, University of Rochester in Contemporary Psychology APA Review of Books 2000