Prenatal development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The explosive rate of growth and development during the 266 days between conception and birth is unparalleled at any other point in human ontogeny. Technology allows a window to early fetal neurobehaviors, which can be organized into four functional domains: heart rate, motor activity, behavioral state, and environmental responsivity/interactive capacities. Each develops in predictable ways during gestation as the nervous system matures. Individual differences originate in the second half of gestation and there are continuities from fetus to child. The prenatal period provides the foundation for all subsequent development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Curated Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology
PublisherElsevier Science Ltd.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128093245
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Embryo
  • Fetal heart rate
  • Fetal motor activity
  • Fetal response
  • Fetal sensory capacities
  • Fetal state
  • Fetus
  • Gestation
  • Neurobehavioral development
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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