Even though newborns can’t hold up their heads or focus their eyes, and infants can’t talk or walk, their brains are actively working to understand themselves, the people in their lives, and the world around them.
Never underestimate the power of the infant brain! And never underestimate the influence that the people in their lives have to shape how that brain develops. Brains are built through everyday experiences.
New technologies like MRIs and CAT scans show us how the shape, size, and functioning of the brain changes as babies grow and interact with people and their environment. A lot of research has focused on how the brain changes in the first 3 years of life because that is a period of very rapid growth. Another period of dramatic changes in the brain occurs in adolescence.
If you are interested in science of brain development, read on. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a neuroscientist to understand the basics. But if you are want to jump right to what parents and other adults can do to influence brain development in young children, go to Healthy babies, healthy brains.