Five facts about brain development

1.Twenty-five years to full brain development

The human brain is not even nearly fully developed at birth. It needs years of continuous stimulation from the environment to mature completely. In fact, it is not considered fully mature until the age of 25!

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2.The exciting second year

In the second year, language development happens very quickly. Most children undergo some kind of word race, where they multiply their vocabulary in just a few months. A precondition for this development is the normal functioning of the brain’s speech centre, since voice formation and control of strength and pitch is controlled by a fine interplay between the brain and hearing.

3.Brain development when you learn something new

Learning is the process of creating new connections between brain cells. When you experience or read something, a memory of this is formed in your brain by  thousands of brain cells linking together. When you recall this situation later, the same links between the relevant neurons reactivate.

Good memory is a result of several paths to the right link in the brain, according to nobel-prize-winning neuroscientists Edvard and May-Britt Moser.

There is also an interesting link between memory, in this sense, and creativity. Good memory develops the ability to associate and this is the basis for creativity. Having many paths to various links means they can be activated in new contexts.

4.Omega-3 is good for your brain

The mother’s intake of the fatty acid DHA during pregnancy contributes to the foetus’s normal brain development. The best source of DHA is fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring. A Bristol study conducted in the 1990s  showed that children whose mothers ate no fish during pregnancy were 48% more likely to have a relatively low verbal IQ at the age of eight. Professor Jean Golding, one of the scientists at Bristol University who conducted the study, advises women who do not like fish to take omega-3 supplements as an alternative.

5.Keep your brain in shape

Medical doctor and cognitive neuroscientist of aging Andreas Engvig has found that daily mental memory training has a measurable physical effect on the brain. He believes that the brain becomes visibly bigger by training, just like a muscle. But for the training to have an effect, it should be perceived as pleasurable.