How to Babies’ Brains Develop?

These videos present key findings on babies’ brain development, and what affects that development. Enjoy :)

Ready, Set, Grow: Dr. Kuhl on brain development in babies

Watch as Dr. Kuhl discusses what infants know about language, how we engage with little ones, and what we know about how babies’ brains develop. Learn about critical windows and why babies are much better than grown-ups learning another language. What are windows of opportunity? … You may wonder what infants and toddlers learn from videos? You get the answers here: In Dr. Kuhl’s words: People need people to learn. At least early on!” Babies need social interaction, live human beings to thrive!

PBS: The Secret Life of the Brain: Episode 1 – The Baby’s Brain

Take a look at how the baby’s brain develops in this fascinating PBS brain series.

A baby’s brain is very different from an adult’s. It is much more malleable since the connections between the neurons are not set yet. From the prenatal period through the first years of life, a child’s brain changes dramatically. At birth, children’s brains have loose networks and the early experiences determine its architecture – whether it is sturdy or fragile. In the following years, the brain is most open to the kinds of experiences children get from their environment. That’s why stimulating, positive and enriched environments are important to build a strong foundation for future language and learning.

What We Know About The Developing Brain: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Watch these fascinating series of videos about the developing brain. They discuss key the following key areas:

  • Brain Architecture
  • Serve & Return
  • Toxic Stress
  • Executive Function

1. Brain Architecture

Learn how the basic brain architecture is being built. Listen, as the speaker compares brain development to building a house: ” Like building a house, what comes first, builds a foundation for what comes later”. What does this mean for parenting?

In essence: All the early experiences a child has with regular caregivers do matter and shape the brain’s developing architecture. Positive and enriching experiences build a sturdy and strong foundation for the future, all around – from academic to people skills.

2. Serve & Return Interactions Shapes Brain Circuitry

Learn about the engine that steers learning: The serve and return interactions, the back & forth dialogue we have with our babies. Serve & return interaction is necessary to build a sturdy brain architecture. As you respond and interact with a child, pick up her burps, words and gestures and reply to them, you build a relationship. It is these relationships that shape the brain’s architecture and lay the foundation for a strong foundation in the future. The speaker illustrates how serve & return works as babies and their caregivers interact.

3. Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development

What happens in the developing brain if a child experiences constant stress, that is, stress for long periods of time?

We all have to learn to deal with stress. Babies’ brains are very susceptible to stress and some stress is healthy. However, constant, ongoing stress may become toxic which weakens the developing architecture of the child’s brain and has serious, life-long consequences. In essence: Toxic stress early on is harmful and actually reduces neural connections in the developing brain. Nurturing, stable and engaging environments are the key ingredients to avoid toxic stress and lay the foundation for a sturdy brain architecture in which learning can thrive.

4. Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning

What is executive function?

It is the ability to handle multiple streams of information successfully – to plan, focus our attention on relevant information, while tuning out irrelevant one, to remember instructions, and to switch gears depending on a given situation. Learn what group of skills make up executive function and help us deal with different streams of information at the same time. Some children have better executive function skills than others: They have better self-regulation, can adjust more easily and are more flexible in new situations. Learn what parts of the brain are important in the development of executive function, and how early experiences shape the development of executive function. What’s more: Executive function changes and improves with age, and can be trained.

Why the early years are so important.

The Science of Early Childhood Development

This video illustrates key concepts of early child development, and how children’s early years, from birth to age 5, are important for a promising future ahead. Learn how the interaction between genetics and experience shapes the brain’s architecture, and how the relationships and experiences children have, impact the developing brain circuitry. Since the nature of the impact is strongest in those first years, early learning experience a child gets, greatly count.

Programs – What Works? Click here to find out.