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This is a remarkable book which can be of great interest, not only to pediatricians, but to all thinking physicians. It ought to be of particular interest to psychoanalysts, who for years have been concerned with theories of what the fetus, the child being born, and the infant just born, can think, and can be frightened of. Actually, Dr. Peiper presents evidence to show that a fetus can react with a slight fright to a loud noise made near the mother's abdomen. The best evidence indicates that the newborn infant comes into the world with practically no function in his cortex. His cerebral hemispheres seem to be far from finished. One way of deciding this is to note that the abilities of a normal newborn infant are just about the same as those of an anencephalic monster!
The evidence indicates that in a fetus or infant, the main function of
Alvarez WC. Cerebral Function in Infancy and Childhood.. Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(4):636-637. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870040150051