The Main Factors Affecting Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is one of the most essential aspects of growth in a child. It encompasses both mental and emotional growth. There are many factors that determine the progress of cognitive development. These factors are important in both the unborn child and infants as they grow. This article analyzes two major factors that determine cognitive development.
Biological factors can either be controllable or uncontrollable. However they affect the development of mental organs and are therefore important in cognitive development. The following are some of the main biological factors that affect both children and adults:
- Hereditary aspects. Scientists have proven that genetics play a major role in cognitive development. Children actually inherit their intelligence from their parents. In fact many scientists are of the opinion that it is not possible to control intelligence and cognitive development because these are pre-determined by hereditary factors.
- Nutritional factors. According to research, women who do not consume enough amounts of protein during their pregnancies ruin their children’s chances of cognitive development. This is because proteins play an important role in the development of the brain. In addition to this, scientists have also proven that there are high nutritional benefits from breast milk. In fact, children who are breastfed for the first six months of their lives are brighter and develop cognitive sense faster than those who are not breastfed.
- Sensory organs. Sensory organs are important in cognitive development. They enable children to recognize things and people around them more easily. Children with disabilities in sensory organs develop cognitive abilities more slowly as compared to those who are normal. General health can also determine the pace at which a person develops cognitive elements.
Environmental factors are the external influences that affect cognitive development. These are mostly controllable. They include:
- Economic factors. Economic factors affect cognitive development in children. This is because the children from well off families often have access to more learning opportunities. Their parents also have more time to teach them and interact with them hence stimulating cognitive development and growth. These children also have better nutritional diets as compared to those who come from poor backgrounds.
- External stimuli. External stimuli such as books and learning toys are important in developing cognitive abilities. Experts recommend that children be exposed to books at an early age and little amounts of television as this tends to reduce cognitive development.
- Family and society. Children who interact frequently with other people tend to become brighter and gain confidence as compared to those who relate with less people. It is important for children to interact with others as this helps them to build their language and speaking skills. They are also likely to be read to which makes them learn faster.
- Play. Although many people take it for granted, play is an essential aspect of cognitive development. Scientists recommend that children be exposed to toys that help build their cognitive abilities such as abilities to recognize numbers and letters. Playing with other children can also build social confidence which improves cognitive abilities.
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