Brain Development by Age (for parents)

1hour 0.1CEUs

The class is also available as part of a Knowledge Collection

$29 Parenting: The Toddler Years See Details  


Explores the anatomy and development of the brain, its function, windows of opportunity for learning and environmental influences.

Goal: to understand brain development and functioning by age

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Brain Development by Age

Goal: to understand brain development and functioning by age

Table of Contents

  1. The Amazing Brain
  2. Neurons
  3. Myelinization
  4. Healthy Brains
  5. Windows of Opportunity
  6. What Affects Brain Development
  7. ADHD


Chapter 1: Amazing Brain

Your brain analyzes and processes information with an efficiency far beyond the world’s fastest computer.  Your brain isdifferent from a computer in that it is always changing.  A computer wears out with time, but your brain gets better.  Your brain is constantly growing and developing as long as you use it.  If you don’t use it, you will lose it.

Your brain has many different areas to 2control your actions and thoughts.  Your brain develops from the back to the front.

The brain is divided vertically intohemispheres, the right and the left,each with a different set of functionsthat myelinate (forming an insulating sheath of white, fatty substance about certain nerve fibers) and mature during different stages of life.

Early childhood sees several areas develop:

  1. the brain stem or the survival brain
  2. the cerebellum where coordination develops, and
  3. the sensory regions of the cerebrum that rule visual, auditory, touch, and movement

These develop early in life during the first years. When puberty hits, the brain develops the limbic system which is referred to as the feeling brain. During late adolescence the prefrontal cortex (anterior or front part of the frontal lobes which are situated in the front portion of the brain) of the frontal lobes develop, which fine tune the higher level thinking and emotional regulation of the brain.

There are at least 100 billion neurons in the adult human brain.  There are support cells, called glial cells that number 10 times more than neurons.  The neurons communicate with each other through billions of tiny web connections in an electrochemical process. There are about 500 trillion connections in the adult brain.  When you do the math the minimum number of possible thought patterns in the brain is the number 1 followed by over 6 miles of typed zeros.  

Scientists have learned more about the human brain in recent years than they had in the previous 100 years. And they are just beginning.  There are new imaging devices that enable scientists to look at the brain, see the processes of thoughts and watch where and how a brain works.

Your brain is about the size of a cantaloupe and wrinkled like a walnut.  You brain weighs between 3 and 3.5 pounds and has the consistency of jello.  This lump of matter is the best organized most functional awesome three pounds of matter in the known universe.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify parts of a neuron and the actions they perform
  • Identify reasons for unhealthy prenatal brain development
  • Describe the process of myelinization and its importance
  • Explain windows of opportunity and their implications
  • Describe the impact of several environmental issues for the developing brain
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