The Nature of Development
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The Nature of Development book
Growth of the brain and other parts of the body, together with the elaboration of neural links, make for the finer discrimination of activity. One of the first results of this development is that the child acquires the ability to control the former indiscriminate activity of his limbs. Instead of making gross movements of the arms, he gradually acquires the ability to move the hands to grip, then to manipulate. Bodily movement progresses from the gross activity of the recumbent baby, through the stage of crawling, to the complex coordination and balancing of the walking child. Later development brings the increasingly complex coordination of motor activity associated with the acquisition of various physical skills. Mter the differentiation of control over the various organs comes the complicated synthesis of their activities into coordinated movements. The baby eventually grows into the child who is capable of riding a bicycle or manipulating a pen with accuracy. Such advances depend on the growth and development of the various organs, and also on the satisfactory growth and development of the brain, including the elaboration of the necessary cortical connections.