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Publisher's Summary

As a research neuroscientist, Lise Eliot has made the study of the human brain her life's work. But it wasn't until she was pregnant with her first child that she became intrigued with the study of brain development. She wanted to know precisely how the baby's brain is formed, and when and how each sense, skill, and cognitive ability is developed. And most importantly, she was interested in finding out how her role as a nurturer can affect this complex process. How much of her baby's development is genetically ordained-and how much is determined by environment? Is there anything parents can do to make their babies' brains work better-to help them become smarter, happier people? Drawing upon the exploding research in this field as well as the stories of real children, What's Going On in There? is a lively and thought-provoking book that charts the brain's development from conception through the critical first five years. In examining the many factors that play crucial roles in that process, What's Going On in There? explores the evolution of the senses, motor skills, social and emotional behaviors, and mental functions such as attention, language, memory, reasoning, and intelligence. This remarkable book also discusses: how a baby's brain is "assembled" from scratchthe critical prenatal factors that shape brain development how the birthing process itself affects the brain which forms of stimulation are most effective at promoting cognitive development how boys' and girls' brains develop differently how nutrition, stress, and other physical and social factors can permanently affect a child's brain Brilliantly blending cutting-edge science with a mother's wisdom and insight, What's Going On in There? is an invaluable contribution to the nature versus nurture debate. Children's development is determined both by the genes they are born with and the richness of their early environment. This timely and important book shows parents the innumerable ways in which they can actually help their children grow better brains.

©2000 Lise Eliot (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"With impressive depth and clarity, Eliot... offers a comprehensive overview of current scientific knowledge about infant and early childhood brain development.... Popular science at its best." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • ANDRÉ
  • ORLANDO, FL, United States
  • 04-09-14

Not an easy read, but an important one

I read this book again last week. What's Going on in There is full of information, much more than Brain Rules for Babies (which is also a great book, but many tips are just Cntl C + Cntl V from this one). Of course Brain Rules for Babies is more palatable, fun and sleek, but What's Going on in There is so rich, that it deserves another realm. If you have a children, or is planning to have one, read both of them.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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More interested in scaring moms than helping

I wasn't impressed. After a couple hours I realized about half of what I was hearing was handled in such a way that it made me more nervous than actually providing good info. She tends to linger on more stressful topics even while pointing out that some of the studies she mentions have faulty biases. Since it's an audio book, I don't have access to any bibliography to help me make sense of where she's coming from. I did not keep listening past the first 10 chapters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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interesting!

narrator was a bit annoying with baby talk, too cutesy, but data is sound and is presented in an easy format.

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a must for every early childhood professional

as an OT that works with children 0 to 10 primarily I loved learning more about typical development of the beain, the senses and the body, as well as what can be done (based on peer reviewed studies) to set children up for sucess in learning and in life. It also helped me better understand the impact of environmental and genetic factors during pregnancy. I am going to make this required reading, and would highly recommend it for nerds mom's (as long as you are not the anxious type, as it reveals what can go wrong in development too)

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great book on baby development and how nurture

good detailed neurological information on how the brain develops and on how to stimulate the brain before and after birth.