Training the brain is possible because of neuroplasticity. Our daily experiences can trigger neuroplastic changes in the brain, such as the growth of new brain cells (neurons) and new connections (synapses) between neurons. Plasticity is observed at all ages but is at its peak during brain development, as a baby and then a child learns basic knowledge and skills necessary to survive. We should thus expect that the brain of a baby could be easily trained. This is what Wass and his colleagues recently demonstrated in a new study with 11-month-old babies. [Read more…] about Brain Training for Babies: Hope, Hype, Both?
Round-up of recent articles on neuroscience, brain development and cognitive health:
Chris hosts a great collection of neuroscience and psychology posts in his signature Q&A style.
- Unlike the monolingual group, the bilingual group was able to successfully learn a new sound type and use it to predict where each character would pop up.
- The bilingual babies’ skill applies to more than just switching between languages. Mehler likened this apparently enhanced cognitive ability to a brain selecting “the right tool for the right operation” also called executive function.
- In this basic process, the brain, ever flexible, nimbly switches from one learned response to another as situations change.
- Monolingual babies hone this ability later in their young lives, Mehler suggests.”
“Now, research is providing what could be crucial clues to explain how childhood poverty translates into dimmer chances of success: Chronic stress from growing up poor appears to have a direct impact on the brain, leaving children with impairment in at least one key area — working memory.”
- “More than 150,000 service members from the Marines, Air Force, Army and Navy have undergone the testing that became mandatory last year. Those who suffer a concussion or similar head injury will get a follow-up test.”
- “Failure to control type 2 diabetes may have a long-term impact on the brain, research has suggested.
- Lead researcher Dr Jackie Price said: “Either hypos lead to cognitive decline, or cognitive decline makes it more difficult for people to manage their diabetes, which in turn causes more hypos.
- “A third explanation could be that a third unidentified factor is causing both the hypos and the cognitive decline.”