Is the human neonate indeed 'physiological premature', as has been frequently stated How does human neural development compare with that of otherprimate species Is early human development a gradual unfolding of neuralmechanisms from prenatal to postnatal life, or does it show rapidtransformations at particular ages The aim of this book is to answer these andsimilar questions about the functional repertoire of the human fetus, neonate, and young infant. Two main theoretical concepts are considered: first, therelationship between neural maturation and the duration of pregnancy and second,the existence of ontogenetic adaptations. Surveys and findings relevant tothese concepts are provided by experts from various disciplines involved inresearch on fetal and preterm development and on the first three months ofpostnatal life. This book differs from many others summarizing descriptiveknowledge of the field by emphasizing new theoretical concepts of earlyfunctional development. Recent ultrasound studies of the fetus have contributedgreatly to this new approach, which has clear implications for the assessmentand care of young infants.
This thought-provoking book will be of interest todevelopmental neurologists, pediatricians and obstetricians, as well as todevelopmental psychologists and physical anthropologists.