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Cognitive and Language Development - Essay Example

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Cognitive and Language Development

(Jumpstart Tulsa, 2009).
Although the lower portion of the brain is well developed at birth to support a child's initial survival, the upper portion is not. This portion contains a brain structure called the cerebral cortex which is responsible for human attributes such as memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. Synaptic connections in the cerebral cortex are developed and peaks during elementary school age. Beginning middle school age to adolescence, the number of synapses decline to adult levels (Zero to Three, 2009).
According to B.F. Skinner, the father of behaviorism, language is learned through reinforcement and imitation. According to the behaviorist theory, like any other behavior, language has to be taught and positively reinforced otherwise, it cannot be learned. This theory is not widely accepted because it does not consider the biological aspects of language acquisition. According to Chomsky and his nativist theory, children have an innate language acquisition device and that it is in their nature to learn a language because of the presence of language areas in the brain, the sensitive period for language development and a child's ability to invent a new language system. ...Show more

Summary

When a child is born, he or she would already have over 100 billion neurons or brain cells, enough to last a lifetime, and no new neurons will develop after birth. Neurons are connected to each other with synapses which form the wiring of the brain. The strength and function of these connections are largely determined by the child's early experiences, thus supporting the theory that stimulation affects early brain development…
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Cognitive and Language Development essay example
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