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Brain is the vital organ coordinating our activities and life. The problem of brain functioning and development has still a lot of areas for research. Nowadays, we have more questions than answers on the problems of brain functioning. However, the scholars presented interesting findings on the brain development in the childhood.
The aim of this essay is to analyze the information presented in the articles Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development by Theresa Hawley and Brain Development by Karen DeBord.
The analysis of the articles
The article Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development by Theresa Hawley is devoted to the problem of brain development of children. The author of the article presents the results of the scientific research which indicates to the vital necessity of adults’ care for children in the early ages. Exactly in the early period of life, the brain gets the important impulse for intense development. The idea of the predominance of genetics in the brain development had existed in the scientific world for a long period of time.
However, recent studies have proved that the child’s experience is also a crucial factor determining the development of brain “plasticity” (Hawley n.pag.). The author of the article explains the reasons for this fact. She stresses that the number of brain neurons is programmed genetically but the connections between neurons are formed throughout the life and, especially, in the childhood (Hawley n.pag.). The role of adults care in the brain development of children is the main idea of the article.
The author emphasizes the importance of parents’ love and responsive care for the reasoning and emotional intelligence of children. At the same time, she mentions that the abuses and mental traumas negatively affect the intellectual and emotional development of children. Hawley refers to the results of the research on the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“Although the ability of the brain to put abused children on constant alert may help them to survive in traumatic environments (for example, the battered child may be able to better avoid the abusive father when he is in a bad mood) it exacts a cost, for the child and for society” (Hawley n.pag.).
The results of the research also suggest that the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be coped with. It was found that the effective treatment does not, essentially, depend on the age.
The author also lists the ways of helping parents to support healthy brain development (Hawley n.pag.). In particular, she mentions community-based programs aimed at educating parents, high-quality home visiting programs preventing the abuses and neglect, mental health service, and the educational campaigns explaining the rational nutrition for children (Hawley n.pag.).
In addition, the author of the article touches upon the problem of children care provided by the care arrangements and kindergartens, in particular.
In my view, the article is rather interesting. It will be useful for the purpose of the research on brain development as well as for the better understanding of the problem of children upbringing.
The other article, Brain Development by Karen DeBord is also dedicated to the problem of the mechanism of brain development and the factors which stimulate its development process. Karen DeBord summarized the main findings of the recent scientific research on the problem. The information presented in her article is based on the results of PET scan (positron-emission topography) which measures the brain activity (DeBord n.pag.). She briefly describes the mechanism of brain functioning and development.
The main idea of the article is the importance of the early learning for brain development. The author mentions that the age between 3 and 10 is the most favorable time for learning (DeBord n.pag.). However, the learning process continues throughout the life of an individual. Besides, she stresses that the baby’s emotions are developed between 10 and 18 months (DeBord n.pag.).
The article contains brief information about brain work. The author puts a particular emphasis on the role of parents’ love and care in the intellectual and emotional development of children. She describes several important steps which should be taken by parents.
In particular, she mentions a constant loving care, touching, paying attention to hearing and language, paying attention to the development of vision, naming things with which the child interacts. Besides, the author emphasizes the importance of listening to the classical music. It has been proved that exposing children to the complex music sounds contributes to the development of their math skills (DeBord n.pag.).
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In my opinion, the article is well-structured. The author managed to give the most important pieces of information on the topic in a well-organized form. Due to the comprehensive language, the article is accessible to not only the specialists but to everyone interested in the discussed problem. Overall, the article is very interesting and I will recommend it to my fellows.
In order to sum up all above mentioned, it should be said that the brain development is one of the urgent problems of modern science. However, the scholars have already achieved substantial breakthrough in the understanding of its peculiarities. The articles Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development by Theresa Hawley and Brain Development by Karen DeBord summarize the findings of the recent research. The authors paid particular attention to the brain development of children.
DeBord, Karen n.d., Brain Development. PDF file.
Hawley, Theresa 2000, Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development. PDF file.