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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: www.early-childhood-education-degrees.com

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