Neural development When children are born, they have almost all the neurons that they’ll have as adults, but only about 50-60% of the brain mass. Myelination White matter growth The gross circuitry of the brain is also in place at birth. So what accounts for the fact that children are not as competent as adults, yet seem to be able to learn much faster.
Synaptogenesis and pruning Children undergo a series of synaptic explosions called synaptogenesis where the number of connections between neurons increases by a tremendous amount. –6 months –2 years –5-6 years –Puberty After each of these is a prolonged period of pruning, where unused connections are eliminated, refining the efficiency of neural pathways.
Neuroplasticity Why does our ability to learn change as we get older? Why does our ability to recover from brain damage change as we get older? Neuroplasticity is the term for how easily the brain is able to change and adapt itself.