Since biology was determined as a science there have always been argues about the question of whether nature or nurture influence is more important to early human development. Early human development includes the period between conceiving the fetus and till the first steps of infancy. Each arguing side has many supporting arguments and evidences, which bring a new “fuel” to this ever-burning flame.
Although nurture’s influence on the newborns could not be underestimated, nature’s influence is stronger and more important to the early human development because of genes and some inevitable processes in development. As it is known, at the moment of conception a remarkable amount of personal characteristics are already determined by the genes. They decide sex, the color of eyes and human characteristics. These genetic determinants are expressed in development through the process of maturation. This evidence shows the role of nature is much higher than the role of nurture.
Despite this view, many still consider nurture to be more influential to early human development due to conditions in uterine environment. However, such an argument could not deny the fact that early human development innately determined sequences of growth and change that a relatively independent on environmental events. The process of human’s fetus development within the mother’s body is strictly fixed by genetically programmed time schedule, and fetal behavior, such as kicking, also follows an orderly sequences that depends on the stage of growth.
The process of maturation is also fixed by this schedule. One of the best examples of inevitability of these processes in development is disappearance of the reflexive head-turning response to the direction of the source of sound. The temporary disappearance of this reflex probably represents a maturational transition from a reflexive response controlled by sub cortical areas of the brain to a voluntary attempt to locate the sound source.
(Hiller, Hewitt & Morrongiello, 1992; Ashmead et al. , 1991; Field, 1987). By four months, infants will reach the correct direction toward the source of sound in the dark; by six months, they show a marked increase in their responsiveness to sounds that accompanied by interesting sights and are able to pinpoint the location of sound more precisely, an ability that continues to improve into their second year (Hiller, Hewitt & Morrongiello, 1992; Ashmead et al., 1991; Field, 1987).
Opponents argue that this genetically programmed schedule is depends on environmental influence and nurture. Study carried out by McGraw indicates that practice or extra stimulation can accelerate the appearance of motor behaviors to some extent, especially in a stepping reflex. However, this five-seven weeks difference on start of walking between stimulated and does not stimulated newborns just highlights the inevitability of development processes.
In conclusion, it should be evident that the arguments which was given to support that nurture is more strongly influences early human development is not valid. On the contrary, many people involved to studying this issue say that genes contribute to strengthen of nature’s influence on early human development by inevitability of natural processes. Furthermore, extra stimulation is not so significantly important for development because the children may develop without it. Therefore, Nature strongly influences early human development than nurture.
Courtney from Study Moose
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