Atypical Infant Development: Interacting Neurological and Environmental Factors

  • Timothy F. Murphy
Part of the Springer Series in Cognitive Development book series (SSCOG)


An essential aspect of understanding the development of the atypical infant is the study of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence or shape development. The two major areas of emphasis in developmental research are biological/ maturational factors and environmental/learned factors. With the exception of the most extreme positions, it is generally accepted that these “nature” and “nurture” variables interact (Lerner, 1976, 1978). Even theories and studies emphasizing the influence of nurture will at the very least acknowledge that the quality of environmental impacts on an organism may change with maturation. In the study of normal and atypical infant development, however, the role of the nervous sytem often is ignored or underplayed, perhaps because this maturational aspect is not well understood. In this chapter, we will review some of the maturational influences on the acquisition and development of functions, such as reflexes, motor skills, language, and cognition.


Motor Skill Cognitive Development Language Development Motor Development Normal Infant 
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