Instead of tabula rasa or `clean slate'2.6, humans are equipped with several highly evolved preconditions for abilities from the moment of conception2.7 (based on the genotype). From the moment of conception, interactions with the environment develop these features, shaping the phenotype.
The sensory modalities vision, hearing, touch and smell provide stimuli. The stimuli direct the wiring of neurons, and areas of the brain are recruited that become specialized in precessing this information.
Interconnection of these specialized systems or `modules' is highly plastic during early development. The experiences needed to adjust these plastic features to these ecologies are generated by children's natural social, play, and exploratory activities [Gea05, p. 125].
In section 3.2.2 a simulation of `infant development' will be given.
Erik de Bruijn