Child brain development
Synapse formation and retraction
Brain development takes place significantly in the first part of life, and before birth. As a large and energy-hungry organ, its development starts from a simple location at the end of the nerve cord in the early embryo, to a highly complex structure with multiple areas, as neurons are synthesised in a stem cell rich part of the brain before migrating to their respective final locations.
Neuron axons then start forging their way into tissue to their destination, sometimes very far from origin, by sensing their environment. Some of them can overgrow and later get “pruned”.
New neurons continue growing, mainly before the birth of the individual. Newborns have brains with significantly more neurons than adults. The first part of life, baby to toddler i.e. 0-3 years old, is a critical time for the development of human learning and language acquisition. Children deprived of stimulation and care (environmental stimulation) lag behind in terms of speech development and cognitive function. The outlook for redressing these challenges is time-sensitive, and ….