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Babies Exposed To Stimuli Get Brain Boost: Study

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A brain activity research suggests that babies exposed to stimuli early in life tend to have a faster brain development.

Early Stimulation In Babies

For many years, Audrey van der Meer, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), has employed advanced EEG technology to study and understand the brain activity of hundreds of babies.

She discovered that as the baby learns novel skills and starts to move around, the neural cells in its brain tend to increase in number and specialization. Neurons in toddlers grow up to about thousand new links per second.

The research also inferred that the growth of motor skills, brain, and sensory perception occur in synchronization with each other. Van der Meer suggests that from a very early age, babies should be exposed to stimuli and must be challenged at their respective levels. The babies should be made to employ their whole body and senses as they discover the world and materials around them.

"Many people believe that children up to three years old only need cuddles and nappy changes, but studies show that rats raised in cages have less dendritic branching in the brain than rats raised in an environment with climbing and hiding places and tunnel," said van der Meer in a press release. She further added that kids born in places early stimulation is practiced develop faster than Western kids.

Unutilized Brain Synapses Fade Away

The research explains that since the brains of young kids are very flexible, they are capable of adapting from a variety of activities taking place around them. Van der Meer said that infants are capable of differentiating between sounds of different languages of the world at the age of four months.

However, gradually, this ability fades away as the infant turns eight months old. The brain synapses (formations that carry information from one neuron to another neuron) that transmit this information, vanish when they are left unused.

Early Intervention In Toddlers

According to van der Meer, a lot of things take place in children's brain through the initial years of their life. Therefore, it is easier to encourage learning and avert problems as and when they are young.

Early intervention is a concept prevalent in schools and kindergartens which is not only believed to work for six-year-old kids, but also for toddlers ranging from newborns to three-year-olds. It is all about guiding and teaching kids as early in their lives as possible so that they can complete their education efficiently, proceed on to adulthood, and become independent. The concept is believed to works due to the fact that the brain possesses the maximum ability to change under the control of the ambient conditions experienced early in life.

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