Child development – early stages
Physical development during the prenatal period – especially that of the brain – is of particular importance for prenatal psychology. In the first eight weeks after fertilization of the ovum, the maturing child is referred to as an embryo. After the internal organs are formed (from the ninth week of development) the term fetus (or fetus) is used.
The habituation paradigm is often used to study prenatal learning. Apparently the fetus can store memory contents for at least 4 weeks and then recall them again.
At birth, the brain of about 100 billion has as many neurons as that of an adult.
Today psychology assumes that the baby is an active, competent, contact-seeking and interaction-stimulating creature in only a few weeks.
The stages of cognitive development are classified according to Piaget’s development model as follows:
Stage of sensorimotor intelligence (0-2 years): acquisition of sensorimotor coordination, practical intelligence and object permanence; Object permanence but still without internal representation
Stage of Pre-Operational Intelligence (2-7 years): acquisition of imagination and speech; characterized by realism, animism and artificiality (in summary: egocentrism); can now distinguish between animated and inanimate.