Joy Ugwu

Joy Ugwu

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Minds as Tabula Rasa at Birth: Case Studies on Attention in Africa Neonates

Minds as Tabula Rasa at Birth: Case Studies on Attention in Africa Neonates

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Abstract John Locke's (1632-1704) concept of tabula rasa of the mind of the newborn baby implies that the newborn only achieves knowledge of what is good or bad, likes or dislikes, or -what he/she needs, as a result of experience after birth; that at birth such abilities are absent. In this paper, we present three case studies on newborn babies studied from birth to age 2-weeks for their ability to pay selective attention to events or things that seem to reflect their abilities to appreciate a need or beauty. These abilities include locating the source of food, attracting caregiver's attention to their needs and following the movement of beautiful objects but ignore less beautiful ones. We conclude that it is not only through experience after birth that the child's mind is formed: that the mind is already occupied and functional at birth.

 
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