The Brain...a Living Computer
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
The brain is a fascinating part of our body’s central nervous system and it holds quite a lot of mysterious and complex functions. Like a computer, it is always changing and making new connections. From birth to the age of five, a child's brain develops more than any other point in their life. Although most brain development occurs early on, the impulse control and judgment parts of the brain develop later in the school years and aren't completely activated until after adolescence. This is true for children with and without developmental disabilities.
Five Incredible Things You Didn’t Know About Brain Development
1) The importance of early childhood development:
Early childhood development cannot be overstated! Before a child reaches the age of ten, the brain is capable of forming connections between its cells.
This is also the optimal period for learning languages.
2) The brain develops through repeated sensory experiences:
The early years are the key time when the child’s brain develops at a rapid rate. That is why it is important to let children be exposed to sensory experiences. This means that children should use their multiple senses to complete a task, this will help them learn more from experience and retain more information.
3) The brain keeps developing when learning new things:
Learning is an important part of the process of forming new connections between brain cells. Thousands of brain cells connect together every time you read, study, or experience anything new, and memory is generated in your brain. That is why it is crucial to expand our horizons, our children and ourselves need to be exposed to new material, environments and experiences continuously throughout life.
4) The link between stress and learning:
Did you know that the adrenal glands release a stress hormone called Cortisol? During a stressful circumstance, this hormone destroys all connections in the learning and memory areas of your brain. Learning to cope with change and unpleasantness and dealing with stress are vital skills for both children and adults. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness, daydreaming, playing, prayer, and simply resting are valuable tools. It is critical to just take timeout!
5) The power of music:
Did you know that singing, listening to, and playing music can help develop a child’s skills, mathematical thinking, as well as their vocabulary? Music stimulates all aspects of growth. Music is a gift that keeps giving for all ages.
Optimizing the brain’s potential is the best thing you can do for any child. Like a computer, nourishing it with valuable data and putting it in a good environment will help it make all the connections it needs to grow. It is crucial to care for a child’s brain development in the same way you would any other area of the body, with a good diet, exercise, activities, and adequate sleep. Learning to speak and understand new words, and eventually writing them develops throughout the school years, but it can also happen well into adulthood. It is important to recognize that learning is a process that continues throughout life. The brain is a living thing that is continuously developing with new information constantly being processed.
Dr. Anupma Sethi, is the founding Executive Director of EmpowerKidz, a brain training learning center for children to achieve, enhance, empower and optimize their cognitive skills.