What Is The Definition Of Mental Development?


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Charlotte St. Aubyn Profile
Mental development is also known as cognitive development. It is basically the construction of mind activity such as thought processes, memory, problem solving and decision making as well as over all intelligence. Cognitive development is the name given to the area of study in neuroscience and psychology that looks at a child’s brain development and the aspects within.

Issues within cognitive development include nature over nurture, culture and social situations and environmental effects.

It used to be believed by scientists that young children lacked the ability to perform activities such as thinking but in fact, as soon as we are born, the brain starts developing through many forms. Children are attracted to colours, lights, sounds, textures and emotions. Because they have not yet developed the physical skills to talk, walk or provide for themselves, this does not mean they are not performing any brain activity.

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist that specialised in cognitive development, his theories have been used all over the world. According to him, when a child reaches 18 months to three years, they are in the ‘sensorimotor’ stage of development. This is where they can understand, to an extent, the permanence of objects and people and can follow movements and sounds as well as having a basic ability to use simple tools such as toys.

Common problems in cognitive development include a lack of development during childhood and as a result can cause problems such as autism and other learning difficulties. In 2004, it was accepted that cognitive development occurs as a result of both hereditary situations as well as environmental situations.

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