Spotlight on middle childhood: Rejuvenating the ‘forgotten years’ (part 2)

The role of the brain From birth to young adulthood, the human brain is rapidly maturing, with the most rapid growth early on in life, when the brain is most plastic. Imaging and postmortem histology studies have shown that the brain undergoes selective pruning, a process in which some areas are enhanced, while others are selectively attenuated. This adaptive process is influenced, in many critical aspects, by daily experiences that can direct new axonal projections, and synaptic reductions and consolidations. Hence, despite any genetic predispositions for mental health or physical risk factors that a person may have, with proper nurturing and exposure to stimulating environments it is possible to alter one’s epigenetics and how one will perceive and interact with the world as an adult. This was best exemplified in a study by Pollak et al, who found that despite the early childhood experience of living in an orphanage, children who were placed in an enriched adoptive family began to perform better on physical, social and cognitive functions.
Based on Knudsen’s theory, middle childhood is considered to be a “sensitive period” because of the active role that experiences play in brain development. During middle childhood, the brain is in a constant state of flux: myelination is occurring within the corpus callosum and subcortical areas, which enables increased conduction speed and synaptic transmission between the right and left hemisphere, while at the sametime, the cortical gray matter is actively adapting. As this takes place, brain activity and behavioural responses advance. Across tasks, young children exhibit patterns of diffuse and widespread activation on functional magnetic resonance imaging while older children show more select regional activation. This is because synaptic pruning enables the brain to attenuate activity in certain areas, while maintaining or enhancing activity in other areas. Thus with age, fewer and more select regions of the brain are activated for specific tasks by responding selectively to the same stimuli. The degree to which this occurs is modulated by the experiences a child has. As such, children have a greater chance of reaching their potential when they have access and opportunity to engage in stimulating environments, experiences, and interactions that support and promote their individual capacities and capabilities. It’s your time to experience safe and affordable treatment the way it was meant to be enjoyable. You can have that every time you order at the best pharmacy that you are now welcome to check out.

Category: Rejuvenating

Tags: Development, Neurobehavioural, Physical activity

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