Posted in Recovery

Brain development in childhood and adolescence

Connections between neurons get shaped and strengthened by experience. The brain evolves rapidly over early childhood and continues to evolve over the first two decades
of life. In the first three years neurons migrate, differentiate, and build up synaptic strength.


After age three, the brain is constantly sculpted (a critical process known as cortical pruning) and the strength of the connections in a child’s brain improved (becoming
increasingly myelinated) [10]. The different brain systems thus become more fully evolved towards being ‘adult-like’.

Developmental peaks
Across childhood and adolescence there are peaks in brain development – at age 3, 8, 11 through to 15 and even later at 19 [12]. Such ‘peaks’ are – like iceberg tips – only a small
indication of the complexity of the underlying changes happening in brain systems and their related cognitive and emotional functions.
The frontal system begins to assume control over socio-emotional and purposeful behaviour from 3-4 years. A four year old child may understand how more ‘smiley faces’ on a chart could be linked to a trip to a play park and an ice cream and decide (or
not) that the trade-off is worth sharing a toy for.

This capacity to link behaviour and consequence accelerates rapidly in development from around 7 to 11, with language skills allowing logical deduction and more abstract
thought [12]. See Figure 2. The consequences of such cognitive changes, in terms of control of behavior, can be seen in the ability to resist distraction being relatively
matured by 6 years or so and impulse control becoming established by age ten, and these abilities continue to evolve over early adolescence, with planning and dual
attention improving with age [13].

Each one of our
perceptual,
cognitive,
and emotional
capabilities is
built upon the
scaffolding
provided by early
life experiences”
(Fox [11] p. 28)

Author:

Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy. Qualified NLP practitioner and CBT therapist. REIKI Master. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦ https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-turner-retreat/

One thought on “Brain development in childhood and adolescence

Leave a Reply, All comments will be moderated - Many thanks for your contribution

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.