The brains of babies are boosted with stimulation


Jan 3 2017 - 8:55am
A baby

Researchers have observed babies who are exposed to stimulation get a brain boost.

It is always a challenge to have your baby's brain develop as quickly as possible. Exposing babies to stimulation seems to help the brains of babies develop.

Babies get a brain boost from being exposed to stimulation

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology reports babies get a brain boost from being exposed to stimulation. This finding runs counter to the position by some new parents that it's not a good idea to challenge babies to do new things too early in life and that instead they should be left to simply develop at their own pace.

Neuroscientist Audrey van der Meer, who is a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, says in the early 1900s professionals took the position that our genes make the determination of who we are, and that development of a child occurred independently from stimulation which a baby is exposed to. At this time the scientists believed it could harm the baby to try to speed up development.

Early stimulation of the brain helps accelerate brain development

Modern brain research has showed that early stimulation of the brain helps accelerate brain development in infants. Interestingly early stimulation of babies in the form of baby gym activities and potty training early in life play a vital role in raising kids in Africa and Asia.

Van der Meer has used advanced EEG technology to study the brain activity in babies. From her studies of hundreds of babies she has observed that as babies learn new skills and become more mobile the neurons in their brains rapidly increase in number and specialization. There are as many as a thousand new neuronal connections formed per second in young children.

It is the position of Van der Meer that even very tiny babies should be met with challenges and stimulation from the time they are born. Babies should engage their whole body and senses via exploring the world around them. It has been emphasized that these experiences should be self-produced and that kids should not simply be carried around or pushed around in a stroller.

Kids who are born into cultures where it is considered important to have early stimulation develop earlier in life than Western kids do

According to research kids who are born into cultures where it is considered important to have early stimulation develop earlier in life than Western kids do. Van der Meer adds that the brains of children who are very young are extremely malleable and so they have the capacity to adapt to changes in the world around them. When new synapses which are formed in the brain do not get used they actually disappear as the child gets older and some of the plasticity of the brain is lost.

Early intervention is an important consideration in dealing with teaching and learning of young children. This is all about giving help to kids as early in life as possible to make certain that as many children as possible do well in their education and than on into their adult lives. The human brain appears to demonstrate the most ability to change when influenced by ambient conditions very early in life.

Van der Meer has an interesting thought that early intervention should deal with kids from the time of birth. Consider that a lot of kids go to kindergarten and therefore the quality of time they spend there is very important. Kindergarten should not just be a place where children are held for the day. Instead kindergarten should be a place to learn and quality play time should be seen as a time for also learning.

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