The developing brain

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

According to a 1997 report by Rima Shore, Rethinking the Brain, there are five key discoveries about developing brains in young children (emphasis in original):

  • “How a brain develops hinges on a complex interplay between genes and experiences;
  • Early experiences have a decisive impact on the architecture of the brain and on the nature and extent of adult capacities;
  • Early interactions don’t just create context; they directly affect the way a brain is ‘wired;’
  • “Brain development is non-linear: there are prime times for acquiring different kinds of knowledge and skills;
  • “By the time children reach age three, their brains are twice as active as those of adults. Activity levels drop during adolescence.”