Your Child's Brain

Length: 3 Pages 833 Words

When a newborn baby enters the world, the farthest thing from the mind of a parent is the neurological development of the newborn baby’s brain. It is not likely that one would think of a baby’s brain as a jumble of neurons like a ball of yarn waiting to be sculpted into a work of art. However, one should be concerned and interested in the development of their child’s brain as certain critical periods pass for developing skills in math and logic, music, emotions, language and movement. It should be stated that there are certain critical periods that comprise the growth and development of neurons as they wire the brain. “If these neurons are used they become integrated into the circuitry of the brain by connecting to other neurons; if they are not used, they may die” (Begley, 1996, p.65). One can safely assume that these ‘windows of opportunity’ are a very critical time in the stimulation of the growth of brain activity. By age sixteen, the wiring of the neurons throughout the brain is almost complete, making it harder for adults to pick up new tasks easily. However, the adult brain is crisscrossed with approximately 100 billion neurons, allowing the brain to have over 100 trillion connections (Begley 1996). Ge Continue...

Music seems to excite the brain and enhance complex reasoning tasks, as "nine string players brain's were examined with Magnetic Resonance Imaging, the amount of smatosensory cortex dedicated to the thumb and fifth fingering digits was significantly larger than nonplayers (Begley, 1996, p. Impulses from the eye and ear reach the amygdala before they get into the rational neocortex, thus when an experience has been painful they amygdala floods the circuits with neurochemicals which may reestablish the painful emotion (Begley 1996). "When a child hears a phoneme over and over, neurons from his ear stimulate the formation of dedicated connections in his brain's auditory cortex (Begley, 1996, p. This is the time in which the regions of the brain that control movement and posture begin to form functional circuits (Begley 1996). After 19 preschoolers were given piano or singing lessons their spatial reasoning skills dramatically improved, along with their ability to complete mazes, draw geometric figures and copy patterns (Begley 1996). nes often determine the brain's main circuits, but the environment and a child's experiences in that environment shape trillions of finer connections, which can determine the personality characteristics that the child will bear (Begley 1996). However difficult it may seem, one must not underestimate the power of a mind, and the potential everyone has to develop to their highest prospect. Math and logic are necessities for developing spatial skills, both of which intertwine with music. Usually by the age of 6 months, an infant has already developed their auditory map for the language they will be native to, and this perceptual map of the first native language tends to constrain the learning of a second (Begley 1996).