Infant Brain Development
By the age of 3, a baby’s brain has reached almost 90% of its adult size. The growth in each region of the brain largely depends on receiving stimulation, which spurs activity in that region.
This stimulation provides the foundation for learning. Stable and nurturing relationships provide positive stimulation that builds the architecture of the brain and connects up neural pathways.
Parents who are unresponsive, frightened, frightening or abusive are unlikely to be able to provide attuned and appropriate responses for their children.
Their responses may promote chronic hyperarousal, which has enduring effects on children’s ability to think and modulate strong emotions. (van der Kolk et al 1996)
The science of early brain development can inform investments in early childhood. These basic concepts, established over decades of neuroscience and behavioral research, help illustrate why child development—particularly from birth to five years—is a foundation for a prosperous and sustainable society.