The book provides detailed up to date and authoritative accounts of major areas of infant development. The 11 chapters are subdivided into three sections: Perceptual Development (4 chapters); Cognitive Development (3 chapters); Social Interaction, Early Language and Emotion (4 chapters). While written by different contributors the book is a well?integrated account of current developments in our understanding of infant development. Integration of the chapters is assisted by the editors' linking sections which introduce each of the three major sections of the book. The book begins with an account of the development of basic visual functions in early infancy and of visual memory and perceptual capabilities of the infant. This is followed by recent research into infants' ability to detect and respond to events and encounters, a theme which emphasises the continuity of perceptual and cognitive development. Cognitive development is further pursued by an account of the complex area of object permanence, and the development of spatial awareness, and how infants learn to solve problems. In the final section early social and language development are explored. Infants learn language in a social context and the social structuring of infant cognition and language is next considered. The final chapter considers the role of emotion in infant development from a psychoanalytic perspective.
The book presupposes no detailed knowledge of infancy on the part of the reader, but at the same time the reader is guided to an understanding of the topical and lively controversies that represent the current state of the art and which make the field of infant development such a lively and interesting area of study.