Understanding Child Development through Brain Development

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The development of human brain begins in the fetus stage.  Early brain development process starts within three weeks of conceiving.  It is true that the process of brain development starts at an early stage but this continues till the end of life. 

The development of the brain depends on the events that take place in the brain.  These events are also responsible for storing all the memories and information.  This process is a lifelong process and it never stops.  Every day, the human brain stores more and more information and there is no way it can ever come to a halt.

The brain develops in two stages.  The first stage is called prenatal stage. At this stage the early brain development beings when the baby is inside the womb as a fetus.  The brain begins to work before the baby is born.  The second stage of development starts after the birth of the baby.  This is called the postnatal stage.  It is also an early brain development stage of the baby. 

Scientists say that the brain of a child is very much impressionable or plastic.  It means in the early brain development stage the brain can memorize and learn more than adults.

In the later stage the brain slowly loses its plasticity.  For this reason a human being cannot easily remember everything he or she  learns in adulthood.  It is the early stage of the brain that is very vital, more than any other point of time in life, for growth of the intellectual and emotional faculties.

It is during the early brain development process that hundreds of important connections get built that goes on to decide the potentials and skills that the child will have in its life.  

The plasticity has positive effects as well as negative effects.  It is true that plasticity of the brain helps in memorizing with ease and it helps the child to learn more in less time.  The negative effect of this elasticity is the bad effect of the environment.  The child learns from the environment where she or he lives.  A child can quickly adopt the skills he or she watches in the environment.  If the environment is not helpful for the child’s enrichment, it will give a negative impact on the child’s brain which is in an early brain development stage. 

Many people are not sure whether the genes or the environment from the most important factor that leaves the greatest impression on the brain at an early stage.  In fact, the genes and the environmental factors are both equally important for the proper development of the brain of your baby.
While brain maturation is a continuous process there are four major milestones.  The child sees the world differently in each stage, and so you as a parent need to respond in a different way.  The stages listed below give approximate years and brain maturation for each stage.  The years are an average.  Individual children may develop faster or slower, but it is always in this sequence.

STAGE 1: From ages 0-3 there is a period of neural exuberance in which there are 24 million connections made every minute.  At age 3, the cortex of the child is twice as thick as an adult’s.  Sensory areas are myelinated and the motor areas are beginning to myelinate. 
STAGE 2: From ages 4-9 the high level of connections between your child’s brain allows them to quickly learn languages, rules, how to work in groups.  Motor and sensory areas are fully myelinated. 
STAGE 3: From ages 10-17 synaptic pruning begins.  The child will lose 1-2% of connections each year.  The teen has every grain area to see and respond to the world developed, accept for the frontal areas than foresee consequences. 
STAGE 4: From ages 18-25 synaptic connections become stable and frontal connections almost finis myelinating.  This time is called “emergent adulthood”

How to boost the development of the child’s brain? 

  • In the prenatal stage, the fetus’s brain products more neurons than it requires.  All these neurons are not preserved.  Later the axons branch out and again some are lost.  At the prenatal stage nothing can be done to save the atrophy (loss) of the axons. 
  • After the child is born, the brain experiences another spurt in growth because of the sudden increase in the sensory stimuli.  The good news is that this time a larger number of the newly formed dendrites can be preserved.  The technique to preserve them is to provide the brain with more stimulation.  This will ensure that more electrical signals are sent through the axons to the dendrites.  If a child can be given the required stimulation, more dendrites will be conserved.  These dendrites will ensure that the child grows up to have superior cognitive abilities.  This will make the child a better learner when the formal process of learning begins at the kindergarten and school level. 

The process of kick starting child brain development should being in the zero-to-three year stage.  Of the various ways in which children’s brain can be given the required stimulation, teaching them how to read is the best option.  This will ensure that they pick up an essential skill and also get the required stimulation. 


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