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Welcome to Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; Unabridged CD edition (November 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452604967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452604961
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,174,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The authors are consummate myth busters: birth order, research reveals, has little impact on personality, and the left-brain is as emotionally charged as the right. In this info-packed text, Aamodt and Wang offer some familiar advice (e.g., no videos for children under two) as well as some thought-provoking revelations." ---Publishers Weekly

From the Author

Sam Wang says: When Sandra Aamodt and I decided to write Welcome To Your Child's Brain, we knew that there were many books on child development. But I only grasped the enormity of the situation when I was getting ready to become a father myself. What I found in the bookstore (and here at Amazon) was overwhelming. However, I also noticed that many books were not based on scientific evidence. As neuroscientists we realized we had something to add.

Welcome To Your Brain is not just a parenting book - though it does have information that parents will find quite useful. Think of it as a book about how we become the adults that we are today. The core of that is childhood. If you wonder whether birth order affected your own personality, why you have musical talent (or lack it), or whether intelligence can ever be increased, then our book is for you.

Some of you came to this site through our New York Times article on "redshirting" kindergarteners. Our reading of the scientific evidence is that there is no long-term advantage to delaying entry to kindergarten - and some significant disadvantages. To read more (with links to technical literature), go to the top of this website, click on my name, find our blog, and look up our post on redshirting dated September 25, 2011. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 41 customer reviews
This book is a must for all new parents.
Tony Sypep
If you are interested in how children develop - what they think, what they do at specific ages - I would highly recommemnd this book.
Great book, very informative and well written.
Mike Arkin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Just a consumer on September 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is for parents or anyone interested in the dramatic changes in our brain and behavior that we humans undergo during our first quarter century of life. Let me tell you what got me interested in this book.

It is written by two neuroscientists, one (Aamodt) who is the former editor-in-chief for Nature Neuroscience, a highly respected scientific journal, and another (Wang) who is a professor and researcher at Princeton University, and is also a father.

In spite of the impressive scientific credentials of its authors, it is written in an approachable style. As Moira Gunn points out in her interview with Aamodt, the book's 30 chapters, most around 10 pages long, are interspersed with subsections with nearly two dozen practical tips, several myth-busting insights, and the occasional speculation. Each of the 30 topics is about a certain period in a child's life, with the periods overlapping with each other. So while chapter 4, "Beyond Nature Versus Nurture" covers from conception to the college years, chapter 11 on "Connecting with Your Baby Through Hearing and Touch" is limited to the period from the third trimester to age 2, chapter 13 on "The Best Gift You Can Give: Self-control" is about children from 2 to 7 years old, and chapter 25 ("The Many Roads to Reading") covers from 4 to 12 years.

I gave the book four stars initially (September 14), but now that I've gone through the whole book, I'm giving it the fifth star. I think it is the second book that any parent with newborns or pre-teens should get...I say second because "Welcome to Your Child's Brain" is not trying to be comprehensive, but the topics it does cover, it covers it in a no-nonsense way, deeply rooted in science as of 2010-11.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Seelke on September 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As both a developmental neuroscientist and a new parent, I am keenly aware of how much the brain changes throughout the lifespan. Of course, knowing facts about brain development and being able to effectively use that information to enrich your child's development are two different things. This book does an excellent job of reviewing the scientific literature and giving advice on how to practically apply that information in your everyday life. After reading this book, I feel like I have a better understanding of how my child interacts with and learns about the world, and I know what I can do to help encourage his development.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Coates on May 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Parents desperately need to know about their child's brain, because there are sensitive windows of development with outcomes that last a lifetime. Parents have work to do at certain times, and they need to know what it is.

One thing I liked about this book is that it's thorough and responsible...all the stages, all the science is up-to-date. The authors have studied and worked in neuroscience for years. I'm an avid read of books like this, and I loved the extensive glossary, the hundreds of scientific references, and the detailed index. I appreciated this book far more than the pop science treatments of the developing brain that get a lot of the science wrong.

But all this rigor is actually a problem. It's as if the authors wanted to write a book for parents and ended up writing a book for other scholars and scientists. For example, the development of the prefrontal cortex happens during adolescence and is hugely important to the development of the basic structure of a child's intellect. Here's some of what the authors have to say about it:

"In a longitudinal study of children, the pattern of developmental changes in cortical thickness predicted intelligence more strongly than did the adult configuration at age twenty....Dendritic branching in neurons was also correlated with intelligence in a few studies."

This is a technically accurate description of the research. But what does this mean to a parent? Nothing.

The problem is the authors know their business but they've been writing for scientific peer review for decades, and so this is how they like to write about the topic. But this kind of writing doesn't communicate to parents. There are some important, practical points to be made, and these are buried in this kind of review of research.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nathanielsmom on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Welcome to Your Child's Brain" has provided me a lot of good insight and good science to help me understand the growing brain of my 5- month old. I appreciate how Aamodot and Wang have made brain-development accessible and practical to non- neuroscientists without talking-down to the reader. I also like that the book covers such an age range, this makes it more of a resource for me that I can refer to as my child grows rather than a one-time read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By djs on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Aamodt and Wang do a marvelous job of distilling neuroscience into usable information for us parents. Their recommendations are practical and useful. The book provides a much-needed glimpse into child development, and explains many of the frustrations that we have with our kids.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By V0L1T10N on August 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As a new parent I thought that I had a pretty good idea of how to raise my child, but soon I began questioning my knowledge, recognizing that it is little more than a collection of personal observations mixed in with the popular tales. As a child grows and develops many questions for how to deal with different developmental stages arise, but where are the reliable answers? Cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology seem to abound with theories and research, but they are of limited merit for parents with no time to delve into such a body of research. This book compensates for some of the discontinuity between scientific knowledge and practice and deserves the praise. In what following I will mention several notable concepts picked up from the book.

Parenting style and environmental circumstances in general have limited, though measurable, effect on child development under good enough conditions. If you do not neglect, abuse or constantly chastise your child, the home conditions are considered good enough. One important recommendation for parents: relax, do not over-think it and enjoy watching how your child's brain develops itself.

Most pregnancies turn out fine as long as they are allowed to run the full course. Expectant mothers should avoid drugs, smocking, alcohol, and stress and should pay attention to their nutrition (not the same as dieting).

Both heredity and the environment determine brain development. The interactions between environmental and hereditary influences are non-linear and are entangled in closed causal feedback loops. Inherited personal characteristics bias a child toward a particular environment which subsequently may cause epigenetic modifications to some regions of the DNA.
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