Benefits and tips – ETFES© Method
The ETFES© Method applied in Memima Baby® is specifically designed
to stimulate the cognitive area, the language area,
socio-emotional area and prefrontal area:
- Cognitive area: enables the child to learn, relate,
and adapt to new situations, making use of thought
and direct interaction with objects and the world around them.
- Language area: this refers to the skills that will enable
the child to communicate with her environment.
- Socio-emotional area: includes the child’s emotional
and socialisation experiences. She will feel loved, safe and able to
relate with others. The creation of an emotional bond is
very important for the stimulation of this area.
- Prefrontal area: This area is responsible for adaptation to
the environment; it fixes baby’s social conduct and creates the process for expressing emotions.
Memima Baby® and proper stimulation
Our philosophy is that any type of early stimulation must be pressure-free stimulation. We have to understand our child or baby to know what we can ask of them, and how, based on their responses. Otherwise, the child may lose self-esteem and self-confidence. In adult life, lacking these traits frequently turns into depression. Proper stimulation must include an emotional bond which, as we’ll see below, is not solely based on affection.
A good emotional bond
From the moment we’re born, there is a biological connection between parents and children. Normally, parents await their baby boy or girl with great excitement. When a baby is born, he or she has only biological needs: cold, hunger, sleep etc. Mothers and fathers interpret everything that their baby expresses and begin to relate with the child through words and caresses: are you alright, don’t cry, are you hungry, look how beautiful you are, come here let me give you a kiss, I love you… Slowly and progressively, babies begin piecing together what their feelings mean and start recognizing the people who help soothe these feelings: their parents or caregivers.
Along the same lines, it’s important for children and babies to understand that this same person who soothes them is capable of letting them cry peacefully, whenever it’s not an issue of abandonment. Little by little, babies understand that this same person who takes care of them can say no to certain behaviors, whenever it’s something that can be tolerated. This is the basis of the balance in managing life’s emotions. This will create a base to manage the individual’s frustrations in a balanced manner. This is a good emotional bond.
Brain behavior improves when positive emotional support is involved in the learning processes. Emotional stimulation is more effective. Emotional stimulation generates more neurotransmitters.
Early stimulation refers to all the processes and actions that parents and caregivers provide for the baby in order to awaken their cognitive, physical or social capacities.
This can occur through their care or any type of contact, game, method and/or affection. Slowly and progressively, thanks to the bonds that the parents must forge from the moment of birth, babies start integrating as a member of the family, something which is of utmost importance for any type of stimulation to take on meaning and become truly effective. As we have mentioned earlier, emotional stimulation is more effective.
Neurotransmitters are chemical substances present inside neurons which serve to improve the transfer of nerve impulses through neural connections (synapses), thereby facilitating or inhibiting stimuli. Neurotransmitters are the basis of the brain’s activity.
Resilience is a person’s capacity to overcome problematic, adverse or traumatic circumstances.
Empathy is the positive relationship between individuals due to common criteria or points of view. It creates happiness, satisfaction and healthy coexistence between individuals. It is the opposite of antipathy.
Neural networks are the cluster of physically interconnected neurons (synapses) whose activity helps to define a recognizable circuit in the nervous system.
Cognition is the basis for the brain’s organization. Cognition appears thanks to neural connections and synchronous activation patterns which have molded the brain’s formation throughout evolution. Cognition is the capacity for a living being to process information based on perception, acquired knowledge (experience) and subjective traits which allow the information to be evaluated. It consists of processes such as learning, reasoning, attention, memory, problem solving, decision making and feelings
We understand cognitive functions as: language, perception, memory, learning, reasoning and problem solving, communications and emotion. The set of these functions allows individuals to increase their capacity to adapt to the environment in order to successfully interact with it.
(Coolidge&Wynn, 2005) Cognitive fluidity is the basis of creativity and, therefore, our species’ capacity to adapt and survive. It is produced thanks to the appearance of language.
Prefontal cortices of the brain
This is where cognitive functions are embedded.They organize thought and behavior. They allow individuals to regulate their own behavior. Consciousness, ethics, morality and personality all take place in this area.
This consists of linking attention to the here and now with our accumulated information to face the challenges that we are facing at any given moment. Working memory depends on cognitive fluidity and is also a function of the prefrontal cortices.
Linguistic cognition is the capacity of an individual to process verbal communication based on perception, acquired knowledge (experience) and subjective traits which allow the information to be evaluated. This consists of processes such as learning or linguistic reasoning, attention and linguistic memory, linguistic problem solving, decision making in linguistic creation processes & grammar learning, or one’s own feelings towards language. Linguistic cognition is a sub-discipline of cognitive science.
Symbolic cognition is the basis of abstract thought. It occurs thanks to the combination of technical, natural and social aspects. Together they give rise to art. This is the last great change in the brain.
Musical cognition is the capacity for an individual to process musical information based on perception, acquired knowledge (experience) and subjective traits which allow the information to be evaluated. This consists of processes such as learning or musical reasoning, attention and musical memory, musical problem solving (music composing), decision making in musical creation processes, or one’s own feelings towards music. Musical cognition is a sub-discipline of cognitive science.
Music and cognition
(Krumhansl,1991): There is a parallel between music and language.
(Bahrucha, 1994) System of nodes and links. This allows us to observe how when listening to a progression of chords, the brain of the listener, without previous musical training, is activated in order to create harmonic expectations. In the same way, in a conversation, or in a written text, we know innately know how to detect if a discourse is coherent.
Parallels between music and language
phonology, syntax and semantics
Phonology: The part of grammar which studies how the sounds of a language are structured in order to transmit meaning.
Syntax: The part of grammar which studies the way in which words and groups of words are combined in order to express meaning. Syntax includes a set of rules and laws.
Semantics: The part of linguistics which explains the meaning of words and expressions.
Music and language function with the same parameters at the phonological and syntactical level. But unlike language, music does not have rigid semantic components. Therefore, each listener can make their own interpretation with personal specifics to each melodic or musical discourse. Therefore, music has a richness that language lacks.
When we listen to music, the emotional intensity increases if the listener’s expectations are met (harmonic priming). Our brain can predict, classify and anticipate the different musical options that we’re listening to.
In the same way, from the moment that we understand a verbal message, our brain deciphers the message’s musicality, seeking coherence between the verbal part and the message’s musical intonation. If the tone of speech doesn’t match with the semantics of the linguistic message, it creates a sense of insecurity, uncertainty, or even arguments depending on the case.
In the end, when we speak we’re singing. We innately pay attention to this and, when we want to increase the efficacy of an oral message, we intensify its musicality. The same thing happens when we speak with a baby. We don’t talk to them, we sing!
For us, overstimulation is the exact opposite of proper stimulation. Overstimulation occurs when parents do not focus positively on the process of providing stimulation for their baby. This depends principally on the proper development of the family’s emotional bond and on the pressure which the child or baby is subjected to during their learning processes. We have to show empathy towards our babies to know what we can ask of them, and how. Otherwise, the child may lose self-esteem and self-confidence. As an adult, too many situations like these usually turn into a lack of resilience or self-control.