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Brain wonders. Understanding the architecture of the brain and how human relationships and the environment impact on brain development is critical for.

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Presentation on theme: "Brain wonders. Understanding the architecture of the brain and how human relationships and the environment impact on brain development is critical for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brain wonders

2 Understanding the architecture of the brain and how human relationships and the environment impact on brain development is critical for educators Brain wonders

3 Brain Development

4 The brain is the only unfinished organ at birth it continues to evolve and develop throughout the life span.

5 Early brain development has a significant impact on learning and behaviour as well as later physical and mental health. Brain Development

6 Babies are born with 100 billion nerve cells, called neurons. The primary task of the brain in early childhood is the connection of brain cells. Brain Development

7 Every neuron has an axon that sends information out to other neurons and several dendrites that receive information. As axons ‘wire up’ to dendrites, trillions of connections called synapses are formed. Brain Development

8 The synapses are activated when stimulation occurs. The first three years of life are the most critical for the development of synapses.

9 Research tells us that the during the early years the brain makes more connections than are required for optimal functioning and that these connections are pruned over time. Brain Development

10 Critical periods represent a narrow window of time during which a specific function is most vulnerable to the absence of stimulation or to environmental influences. Brain Development

11 Sensitive periods are the broad windows of opportunity for certain types of learning. Sensitive periods represent a less precise and often longer period of time when skills, such as acquiring a second language, are influenced. Brain Development

12 Critical and sensitive periods of brain development are regarded as having plasticity. Plasticity refers to the brain's ability to change as a result of experience or injury. Brain Development

13 The foundations for higher order brain function are laid down in the first four years of life and by school age these foundations lose plasticity and difficult to change. Brain Development

14 As brain plasticity differs between lower order and higher order functions different experiences at different ages are necessary for optimal brain development. Brain Development

15 6 Core Concepts of Brain Development

16 6 Core concepts 1.Brains are built over time and a substantial proportion is constructed during the early years of life – poor foundations for brain development is likely to result in long term developmental risks

17 2. The interactive influence of genes and experience shape the architecture of the developing brain. 6 Core concepts

18 3.Both brain architecture and developing skills are built “from the bottom up,” with simple circuits and skills providing the scaffolding for more advanced circuits and skills over time. 6 Core concepts

19 Brain development or function at the lower level that directly impacts on later brain development is referred to as Limbic Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal (LHPA) Brain wonders

20 4. Cognitive, emotional, and social capabilities are inextricably intertwined throughout life. They are the ‘bricks and mortar that comprise the foundation for human development. 6 Core concepts

21 5. Toxic stress in early childhood is associated with disruptive effects on the nervous system and stress hormone regulatory systems. This can damage developing brain architecture and chemistry and lead to lifelong problems in learning, behaviour, and both physical and mental health. 6 Core concepts

22 6. The basic principles of neuroscience tell us that providing the right conditions for healthy development in early childhood is likely to be more effective than treating problems later in life. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2004:8-10) 6 Core concepts

23 Influences and Implications

24 Human development is shaped by a dynamic and continuous interaction between biology and experience Influences on Brain Development

25 Key research findings Early experiences affect the development of the brain and lay the foundation for intelligence, emotional health, and moral development. Healthy early development depends on nurturing and dependable relationships.

26 Lack of a significant adult able to consistently nurture and support the child, poor nutrition, poor health care and lack of appropriate stimulation will have a detrimental impact on brain development. How young children feel is as important as how they think, particularly with regard to school readiness. Influences: Consistency in Nurturing

27 Children are active participants in their own development, reflecting the intrinsic human drive to explore and master one's environment. Influences: Brain Development

28 Caring human relationships are critical to healthy human development. Implications: Brain Development

29 The timing of early experiences can matter, but, more often than not, the developing child remains vulnerable to risks and open to protective influences throughout the early years of life and into adulthood. Implications: Brain Development

30 The course of development can be altered in early childhood. Implications: Brain Development

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