Introduction: First Year of Brain Development (01:39)
This film follows Orson during his first year of life. One theory says that humans are born helpless in order to ensure socialization.
What can Orson Do at Birth? (03:18)
The brain stem allows infants to regulate core body functions. Orson possesses rooting and startle reflexes and reacts automatically to sensory input; loving touch helps his development. Visual and auditory preferences ensure social interaction and increase his survival chances.
How Does Experience Help to Shape the Brain? (02:01)
Newborn cortices are smooth, and crinkle during the first three years to accommodate information. Neurons exist with few connections; sensory input is processed along increasingly strengthened pathways.
Early Experiences, Care Routines and Socializing (08:21)
Daily care provides opportunities for socializing and development; Orson's parents learn to interpret his signals. Newborns sleep most of the day and gradually synchronize with day and night. Rapid response to crying reduces stress; adults regulate infant emotions.
Communicating, Babbling, Smiling and Copying (07:14)
Tracking his mother's voice and face helps Orson's vision develop. Giggling elicits a positive response; his mother initiates two-way conversations and interprets his actions. "Baby talk" exaggerates vowel sounds and synchronizes mimicry and emotion—fundamentals for reciprocal love. Review Orson's newborn development.
Four to Seven Months: Strength, Coordination, Space and Movement (03:23)
Once his basic needs are met, Orson can begin exploring his world. See him strengthen his neck and back muscles, learn to sit, and gain limb coordination.
Interest in Objects, Reaching and Grasping (02:56)
Orson begins developing fine motor skills; improved vision increases his interest in objects. Repetition improves skill and efficiency. He still lacks object permanence.
Feeding, New Tastes and Textures (03:08)
Babies must overcome the tongue-thrust reflex to try solid foods. Feeding is important for social interaction; taking a relaxed and unhurried approach can help parents avoid power struggles over food.
New Noises, Laughing Games and Gestures (07:25)
Social interactions affect pre-frontal cortex neural connections. Smiling is specific and communicates a pleasurable emotion; playing "peek-a-boo" encourages taking turns and elicits positive feelings in Orson. He experiments with sounds and enjoys musical rhymes.
Attachment, Feeling Safe and Secure (04:28)
Biological bonding begins in the first months. Orson learns that he can show emotions when distressed, and his parents will help him to regulate those emotions. He is sociable towards strangers. Review his development from four to seven months.
Eight to Twelve Months: Myelination, Emotions and Learning (04:13)
Learn about the myelination process. Babies must be in positive emotional states to learn. Orson uses physical skills and senses to explore objects.
Communication, Joint Attention and Gesturing (03:26)
Communication becomes more complex between Orson and his mother. At nine months, he can follow her gaze and gesture with his hands to request his father to bounce a ball. He points to learn object names.
Object Permanence and Separation Anxiety (05:07)
Children repeat behavioral patterns, or schemas, to develop conceptual understanding. Orson is learning that things still exist when out of sight—including his mother, his primary attachment person. He becomes distressed when left with a stranger.
Gestures, Social Referencing and Empathy (04:45)
Orson now waves and points. He checks with his mother about how to respond socially and uses her as a safe base when exploring. He builds a library of facial expressions connected to emotions and responds to social moods.
Problem Solving and Schemas (05:49)
Orson's behavior becomes increasingly purposeful. He uses multiple steps to get what he wants and follows repeated behavioral patterns to learn new concepts. Review his development from eight to twelve months.
Credits: The Wonder Year: First-Year Development and Shaping of the Brain (00:24)
Credits: The Wonder Year: First-Year Development and Shaping of the Brain
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