What’s Going On Inside a Child’s Brain Infographic
A child’s brain and an adult’s brain have entirely different priorities, but that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. How often do we find ourselves unable to relate to our children’s concerns simply because they don’t seem like concerns to us? The What’s Going On Inside a Child’s Brain Infographic shows what is really happening in a child’s head and how this differs from adults.
Children vs Adult Brains
A child’s brain has completely different priorities than an adults. Children think, behave, and learn differently. Meaning parenting and teaching can be a challenge. Below we see how different sections of the brain trigger behaviors in children and adults.
Most Active Areas in Children
- Brain stem: The brain stem is the part of a child’s brain that controls heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
- Midbrain: The midbrain stimulates “arousal,” appetite/ satiety and sleep.
Most Active Areas in Adults
- Limbic system: The limbic system controls sexual behavior, emotional reactivity and motor regulation.
- Cortex: The cortex is responsible for concrete thought, affiliation and attachment.
The Brain Basics
- Building blocks of the brain
- Nerve cells that specialize to form brain sections
- Communicate messages throughout the brain
- A connection between 2 neurons
- Each Neuron has thousands of synapses
- Creates connections between thousands of neurons.
- An insulating sheath that covers the length of mature neurons
- Necessary for clear, efficient, electrical transmission
- Increasing connection effectiveness by 3000x
Brain Development throughout Stages of Life
- Age 21
- Drink Alcohol
- Age 18
- Age 16
- Drive a car
- Age 14
- Myelination begins in the Frontal Lobe (higher learning)
- Reasoning, planning, emotions, and problem-solving skills significantly develop
- Age 11 into adulthood: “Use it or Lose it”
- Pruning: deleting lesser-used synapse connections making other pathways more efficient
- 4 through 10
- Children’s brains are more than twice as active as adult’s brains.
- Of the body’s total O2 intake, the adult brain consumes 20%
- A child’s brain consumes up to 50%
- Age 8: “Logic” abilities start to form
- By Age 3
- Brain already weighs nearly 90% of it’s future adult weight
- Explicit (conscious memory) develops
- Future capacities for learning, social interaction, and emotional abilities are already largely established
- Need introduction to a variety of experiences
- Brain develops up to 2,000,000 synapses per second
- Building the architecture for future functioning
- Developing automatic functions, the 5 senses, and motion
- Brain is 25% of its future adult weight
- Implicit (or unconscious) memory allows recognition of mother and family
- Age 23
- Pruning completes
- Nearly half of the child’s synapses have been deleted
- Age 25
- Myelination completes
- The brain is finally fully matured
- Insurance rates drop – Not a coincidence
- Beyond: Brain Composition
- Continually changes as learning occurs throughout lifespan
- No matter what your age, when it comes to brain functions, it’s literally “use ‘em or lose ‘em”