Your Baby's Brain, Part 3: Windows of Opportunity

September 12, 2014 3:21 PM

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Your Baby's Brain, Part 3: Windows of Opportunity

Technology, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs), Computerized Tomography Scans (CT Scans) and Positive Emission Tomography (PET Scans), now offer the hard data indicating that experience and environment can change brain development. Brain formation is dependent on brain activity, and because the developing brain is plastic, each and every early childhood experience stimulates, both positively and negatively, its neural connections. Because the brain is highly efficient, it actually dumps neurons that are not being used while strengthening those that are used consistently. This process is called synaptic pruning, and makes it possible for your child to develop correctly. Though synaptic pruning extends through a normal lifetime, it is the most active during early childhood.

There are windows of opportunity when your child's brain is highly susceptible to environmental experiences. During the ages of 0 and 10, your child's brain forms trillions of connections, many of which will be discarded throughout your child's life, as the brain eliminates connections that are seld...

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