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Researching of Brain Development

The intriguing aspects of brain development are cells lining the subventricular zone and dendrites and spines. The aspects are interesting because, in the former, the generation is impacted by hormones, drugs, and experience. These cells remain active throughout life and sometimes quiescent in their locations for a prolonged period, after which they are then activated to produce neurons. Dendrites and spines show amazing plasticity in response to experience as they can form synapses in minutes or hours after some experience. Synapses are essential for brain development and prerequisites for memory and learning processes.

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Brain development is adversely impacted by experiences like sexual abuse and physical and emotional neglect that result from family settings maltreatment. These experiences represent inaccessibility to reactive and unsteady caregiving (Bick & Nelson, 2016). Kids in this setting are subject to unusual caring during development when their brain is extremely sensitive to caregiving involvement. Maltreatment affects brain structure by causing a reduction in the size and shape of the brain. Therefore, emotional and physical neglect is absent from experiences relevant to supporting emotional and physical development.

In addition, emotional trauma resulting from stress-inducing incidences during adolescence causes gene methylation, which is a shift in physiological stress response to overdrive, resulting in loss of ability to respond effectively to future stressors. Another adverse experience is when caregivers expose children to infections and toxins during their early brain development. Infections cause encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain, causing a reduction in its functional abilities.

Children are born ready to learn and acquire skills that depend on caregivers, including family members and parents, as their first teachers to develop the right skills, become independent, and lead healthy lives. A child’s experience in the environment strongly affects how the brain grows (Bick & Nelson, 2016). Therefore, they require a safe environment protected from chronic stress and neglect to promote positive growth.

Some examples of experiences that cause positive brain development include playing with, speaking to, and caring for the child. Talking and playing with children is one of the best ways to learn and build on skills and interests. When children are nurtured by understanding their needs and sensitive responses, it assists in protecting their brains from stress, thereby promoting brain development. Consequently, speaking with children and exposing them to songs, stories, and books help strengthen their communication and language and eliminate adverse effects causing brain development.

In brain development, the concept of neuroplasticity is known to enhance positive brain and behavior outcomes. Neuroplasticity denotes the capacity of the brain to modify and adjust to experiences from interactions with the environment. According to Kolb et al. (2017), neuroplasticity affects behavior and brain outcome because repeated mental responses and behaviors form part of neural traits, which to make or break involves a neuroplastic change in the brain.

Thus, to practically apply the concept of neuroplasticity to further positive brain and behavior outcomes, it can be done through experience-dependent neuroplasticity that aims to develop inner strengths through practicing having experiences of behavioral traits. It is because building positive mental states results in positive neural characteristics. Enriching the environment is one way of utilizing neuroplasticity in beneficial ways. Learning environments that provide plenteous opportunities for challenge, novelty, and focused attention stimulate positive changes in the brain.

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In summary, brain development is an essential process in human development and growth that requires a safe environment for better and positive outcomes. Experience during brain development has either positive or negative impacts, resulting in changes in behavior and brain outcomes. Positive experiences that can promote brain development include playing with and talking to a child to nurture positive responses. Adverse experiences such as maltreatment in families cause reduced brain development. The concept of neuroplasticity, as illustrated, is an important aspect of enhancing positive brain and behavior outcomes.

References

Bick, J., & Nelson, C. A. (2016). Early adverse experiences and the developing brain. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(1), 177-196. Web.

Kolb, B., Harker, A., & Gibb, R. (2017). Principles of plasticity in the developing brain. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 59(12), 1218-1223. Web.

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