In the first five years of their development and growth, children rapidly progress in areas like motor (physical), social or emotional, language, communication, and cognitive. Cognitive development defines how children think, discover, explore, and understand them. The development of the brain is a part of cognitive development in children.
The fundamental question regarding child development is how nature and nurture both form cognitive development. The genes we obtained from our parents and the biological endowment surmise nature. Nurture refers to the surroundings in which we grow up and the social and physical environments that have a profound impact on our cognitive development. A child is affected since they are in their mother’s womb. From the houses where they will be raised, the school that they will attend, and the people they will interact with, everything has an influence on the child’s cognitive development.
How nature and nurture work together and affect cognitive development can be found in the results of visual development. Several people think that vision is something with which children are born, or it is a matter of simple biological maturation. However, a child’s ability to see also relies on the experiences they go through at the right moments.
For instance, the development of depth perception, the ability with which a child can perceive distant objects actively in their environment. It depends on the fact if the infant can see the patterned light and have the proper brain activity in response to the patterned light.
If the baby does not receive any patterned light due to blindness or cataracts which if later in the growth of the child is not surgically removed or corrected then they will stay with the abnormal depth perception even after they have surgery.
The Complex Interaction of Nature-Nurture
To add to the complication of the interaction and connection between nature and nurture that have an impact on a child’s cognitive development, different treatment from different people can affect their cognitive development too. The gene of any distinctive child elicits different reactions from other people.
For instance, a baby’s temperament and physical attractiveness are considerably affected by their inheritance of genes. However, this is also a cruel fact that the parents and the surrounding family provide tender, affectionate, and sensitive care to attractive and easy-going kids than to less attractive and difficult ones. It can contribute to an infant’s later cognitive development.
A Child’s Influence on Cognitive Development
In addition to the complex interplay between nature and nurture, children shaping their own development also contributes to that. From the day of their birth, an infant tends to gravitate towards one thing while others might not interest them as much.
For instance, a one-month-old chooses to look at their mother’s face rather than any other woman’s face who are of the same age and look somewhat alike. A child’s influence on their cognitive development becomes large when they grow older.
A five years old child has their world limited to their parents and close family so that they have access to certain things that are chosen by their parents. On the other hand, fifteen years old can choose their environment as they see fit.
A child’s preferences have a large impact on the future. If they start to read vigorously since they are little kids, it will affect their reading later in the future. Thus the biggest question is not how the cognitive development of a child is a product of nature versus nurture. The real mystery is how nature and nurture both work together to influence children’s cognitive development.