What’s Going On Inside a Child’s Brain Infographic

What’s Going On Inside a Child’s Brain Infographic

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

  • Neurons:
    - Building blocks of the brain
    - Nerve cells that specialize to form brain sections
    - Communicate messages throughout the brain
  • Synapse:
    - A connection between 2 neurons
    - Each Neuron has thousands of synapses
    - Creates connections between thousands of neurons.
  • Myelin:
    - 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
    - Vote
  • 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
  • Toddlers
    - Need introduction to a variety of experiences
    - Brain develops up to 2,000,000 synapses per second
    - Building the architecture for future functioning
  • Newborns
    - 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”
Via: http://www.early-childhood-education-degrees.com/childs-brain/
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