My wee family were really stoked to be a case study as part of the “Love grows brains” campaign.
My wee family was really stoked to be a part of the “love grows brains” campaign. Being a big science nerd, infant brain development is something I am really interested in and all the research coming out points to love, responsiveness and consistency being the key factors for brain development in those important early years.
My two cents, in a nutshell are that in the first three years of life, an infants brain is literally developed and grown by their experiences – positive or negative experiences.
There is a complex interplay happening between nature and nurture, so between our genes and our experiences. It is like nature plants the seed and nurture waters it.
We start out as babies with a brain 25% the size of an adult brain and by the time we are three, it has grown to 75% the size of an adult brain. During that time, many connections within the brain are formed (or not formed) based on our experiences. There is also a pruning process where connections which are made are retained and those that are not or are infrequently used are lost. Once these connections are lost, they are if not impossible to attain.
Showing love, being responsive and consistent is what grows brains. Babies who are subjected to violence, neglect or abuse sadly have smaller brains than normal as a direct result.