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By J. Fraser Mustard * Alfredo Tinajero The Founders Network * Founding President, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research February 24, 2010 Brain Development.

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Presentation on theme: "By J. Fraser Mustard * Alfredo Tinajero The Founders Network * Founding President, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research February 24, 2010 Brain Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 By J. Fraser Mustard * Alfredo Tinajero The Founders Network * Founding President, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research February 24, 2010 Brain Development and its Influence on Human Development Washington, DC Joint Special Session, OAS

2 Human Development Nature Nurture Genes Epigenetics Stimulation and Nutrition Gene Function Neurobiological Pathways Physical Mental Learning Health Health

3 Epigenetics Epigenetics is the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing the function of normal genes [all the 100 billion neurons in your head have the same DNA] need new number

4 What is experience? The stimuli that you encounter both pre- and post-natally as well as in later stages differentiate neuron function. Examples: sound, touch, vision, smell, food, thoughts, drugs, injury, disease, physical activity, etc. Experience begins in utero that effects the differentiation and function of the neurons in the brain. Kolb, U Lethbridge

5 Health(physical and mental) Learning (literacy) Behaviour Experience-Based Brain Development in the early years of life sets neurological and biological pathways throughout life that affect:

6 Early Human Development and Literacy & Health

7 Early Child Development and Language Starts early – first 7 months – neurons differentiate language sounds (e.g. English, Japanese) Sets capability for mastering multiple languages in early life Sets literacy, language and learning trajectory for the second and third stages of development

8 Literacy Levels for the Population Ages 16 to 65 – USA Percent Level NALS, p. 17, 2002 Prose Document Quantitative LowHigh

9 Literacy Levels (Quantitative) and Physical, Mental or Other Health Conditions – USA Percent Level NALS, p. 44, 2002 Health Problems Mental or Emotional Problems Long-term Illness

10 Percentages of Adults in Poverty, by Literacy Level – USA (Prose) Percent Level NALS, p. 61,

11 Early Experience and Brain Architecture and Function Affects gene expression and neural pathways Shapes emotion, regulates temperament and social development Shapes perceptual and cognitive ability Shapes physical and mental health and behaviour in adult life Shapes physical activity (e.g. skiing, swimming, etc.) Shapes language and literacy capability

12 Success by Ten Early Child Development Intervene early Intervene often Intervene effectively Integrate with primary schools Ludwig and Sawhill, Brookings Institution

13 Grade 3 Language Scores UNESCO, Argentina _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Brazil _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Chile _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Cuba _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Mexico _ _ _ _ _ _ _

14 Community Polyclinics Pregnancy to Age 6 Developmental Health (pre and post natal) Weekly Home Visits Services provided by Community Polyclinics Nutritional support Child (Care) Stimulation (Puericultura)

15 Cuba Mortality Rate 4th grade Language (UNESCO, 1998) Chile Argentina Venezuela ColombiaParaguay MéxicoHonduras Brazil Dominican Rep. Bolivia Under One Mortality Rate (WHO, 1990) Language Scores – UNESCO First Regional Study (1998) Mustard, Tinajero, A., 2009 Health and Language Scores

16 Association Between Preschool Attendance and Learning Cuba Percent enrolled in preschool Reading Scores – 6th grade (UNESCO, 2008) Chile Uruguay Costa Rica Argentina Peru Colombia Dominican R. Paraguay Mustard, Tinajero, A., % 80% 90% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% % of preeschool enrolment - children ages 3-5 (UNESCO-LLECE, 2008) % of children at Level IV – Reading Scores (high) - 6th grade (UNESCO, 2008)

17 Early Development Instrument (EDI) Kindergarten – Age 5 Physical health and well-being Communication skills and general knowledge Social knowledge and competence Emotional health/maturity Language and cognitive development

18 EDI – Canada and CENDI - Monterrey, Mexico % Low on % Low on One DomainTwo Domains CENDI18.5% 3.8% (centre-based) (Monterrey) Canadian Middle Class25.9% 12.9% (120,000)

19 Policies to Foster Human Capital "We cannot afford to postpone investing in children until they become adults nor can we wait until they reach school - a time when it may be too late to intervene." Heckman, J., 2001 (Nobel Prize Economics, 2000)

20 WHO – Marmot Commission on Social Determinants of Health Chapter 5 – Equity from the Start Recommendation 5.1: WHO and UN Childrens Fund (UNICEF) set up an interagency mechanism to ensure policy coherence for early child development such that, across agencies, a comprehensive approach to early child development is acted on. WHO, August

21 WHO, August 2008 Recommendation 5.2 The Commission recommends that: Governments build universal coverage of a comprehensive package of quality early child development programmes and services for children, mothers, and other caregivers, regardless of ability to pay.

22 Of all the countries in the Americas, Cubas programs of nutrition and stimulation for rural and urban children provide the best example of equity for early human development in the Americas. We all can learn from what Cuba has accomplished

23 To download this presentation, go to: Slides - Slide Shows

24 References Mustard, J.F. Early child development and experience-based brain development: the scientific underpinnings of the importance of early child development. Washington: The Brookings Institution Available at: Mustard, J.F. Early human development – Equity from the start – Latin America. Latin American Journal of Social Sciences, Childhood and Youth, vol. 7, #2, July-Dec Available at: Mustard, J.F. The effects of nature and nurture on early human development and health, behaviour and learning. Presentation at the First International Symposium in Puebla, Mexico. January 27, Available at: CP23764E

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