Brains

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brains-connected-babyOne of the most important insights that has been learned from neuroscience over the past two decades is that neural development is shaped by relationships.

Human brains are not complete at birth. They are designed to develop after birth.

This is the result of our evolutionary history. Brains do not unfold according to a genetic pattern. They are literally shaped by what happens to a person.

Experiences during the earliest years of life — conception to three years old — are especially important, because this is when brains are developing most rapidly.

This is when brains are laying down neural pathways that will help a person to handle emotions throughout life.

If you cannot handle strong emotions, the official term for which is ‘self-regulate’, then you are likely to engage in impulsive behaviour that can lead to problems in relationships or holding a job, along with all the other elements of having a happy life.

Understanding more about brain development also helps in the treatment of trauma, in creating policies for professions such as social work, midwifery and criminal justice, and certainly relates to the funding decisions that politicians make.

In short, our growing neuroscientific insights hold major implications for a whole range of societal concerns.

For more insights into brain development, see our electronic courses.

Go back to The science page.