Saturday, January 01, 2005

Early learning leaves lasting changes in brain

This article shows how important it is to learn as much as possible early in your life. The article describes that areas of the brain that need to be reliable in adults stop making major structural changes early in life, leaving the adult with a stable map.

From the article:

Educational Christmas toys can leave a mark on more than just your checkbook—they can also leave a permanent imprint on a child’s brain. That’s according to a Stanford University School of Medicine study in owls showing that early learning experiences forever change the brain’s structure.

Previous work by study leader Eric Knudsen, PhD, professor and chair of neurobiology, showed that young owls could quickly pick up new skills that leave older owls baffled. What’s more, once the young owls learn a new skill they can easily pick it back up as an adult.

“This work shows the importance of investing in childhood experiences,” said Knudsen, who also holds the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professorship. “Early learning can have long lasting effects on the architecture of the brain.”

Parents should know about this and invest more time in learning their children as much as possible early in life.

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