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The Power of Play in Brain Development

Food isn’t the only thing that fuels brain development. Children also develop skills through playing! Perhaps when you hear the word “play,” what comes to mind is a game of tag or baseball, but play occurs as early as birth. Simple games like peek-a-boo and jack-in-the box are great games to play with infants as… Read more »

Food for Thought, How Nutrition Affects Brain Development

Did you know that eating healthy foods is one of the best ways to build a healthy brain?! During the first year of life, the brain grows 1.7 grams each day (that’s a little more than the weight of a shelled peanut!) Children who are malnourished and who do not receive enough calories or protein… Read more »

Yes, the Brain Can Bounce Back!

In our last blog post, we discussed how negative experiences can be detrimental to brain development. Today we’re here to discuss just how resilient the brain is and show how the brain can bounce back! The brain is able to bounce back from negative influences, especially if intervention happens at an early age. Positive influences… Read more »

How Negative Experiences Affect Brain Development

Here you see two brain scans – on the left is a scan of a healthy three-year old child next to a scan of a three-year old Romanian orphan who suffered severe sensory deprivation. The neglected child’s brain is smaller and has enlarged ventricles (holes in the center of the brain). It also shows a shrunken… Read more »

The Critical vs Sensitive Periods of Brain Development

We know that the first three years of life are important to the brain’s foundation for healthy psychological development. Neural connections are developed and repeatedly used during those first years of life to enable future learning and development. Critical Periods A critical period in brain development is when the brain must have certain environmental stimuli… Read more »

Brain Development Begins Before Birth!

Parts of the Brain The brain grows sequentially, from the bottom to the top.  The brainstem is first, controlling important physical functions including breathing, heart rate, and body temperature.  Next, the cerebellum is formed.  It is located behind the brainstem and controls one’s balance and coordination.  Following this is the temporal lobe, the emotional center… Read more »