This article sets the beginnings of research in prenatal stimulation in historical context with the larger movement of infant research surrounding it. Of particular interest is the evidence for prenatal intelligence, which is here organized around new definitions provided by Richard Sternberg and Howard Gardner. This evidence provides parents with additional reasons to begin communication with prenates as soon as possible and provides psychologists with additional reasons to formulate a larger paradigm to describe the true nature of prenates.
ABOUT THIS PAPER: This introduction to the experimental studies on prenatal enrichment focuses on underlying questions many readers have about the nature of prenatal sensory awareness, emotion, and intelligence. Although the research papers that follow are themselves persuasive evidence for prenatal learning and memory, David Chamberlain creates here a larger historical and scientific context from which to view these specific discoveries. Drawing on a full range of empirical data-clinical, experimental, and anecdotal-he helps the reader find answers to the question, "Is there intelligence before birth?" Some of his analysis of intelligence using modern categories proposed by Richard Sternberg and Howard Gardner, enlarged upon here, appeared in this Journal in volume 6(3), 1992. More evidence and references to both fetal and newborn intelligence are found in Chamberlain, The Mind of Your Newborn Baby (1998).
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David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Address correspondence to Dr. David B. Chamberlain, 909 Hayes Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103.
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.