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Adriana Molitor & Hui-Chin Hsu

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 53: Prenatal Development and Infancy

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Prenatal Development and Infancy
Prenatal development and infancy

Birth, of course, does not mark the beginning of human development; rather, development begins at conception. Although much of prenatal development occurs within the physical domain, developments in the cognitive and psychosocial domains also emerge at this time. Moreover, although these developments are driven by genetic and maturational forces, experiential factors also play an influential role during this period. Within this chapter, we address some major areas of prenatal development: sensory experience, neurobehavioral functioning, and teratogenic risks. Postnatally, the period of life known as infancy traditionally consists of the first two years following birth, and it is during this period that often dramatic and rapid developments take place in all domains. Some of the most important of these ...

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