The development of the brain and the nervous system begins with the embryo with the third pregnancy week. By the end of the eighth week, the brain and spinal cord are almost completely applied. In the following weeks and months, a lot of nerve cells are formed in the brain by cell division. Of these, a part before the birth is dismantled again.
Baby’s brain and nervous system
During the entire pregnancy, the neural structures are extremely sensitive and thus prone to external influences. Consumption of alcohol, smoking, radiation, iodine deficiency and certain diseases of the mother, such as, for example, infectious diseases, can lead to damage to the developing nervous system. Drugs should also be taken only after consultation with the doctor, in order to prevent possible adverse effects on the embryo. Already in the mother’s body, the brain of the unborn takes information. Thus, it is assumed that by learning the language of the parents the learning of the mother tongue is already coined before birth. As is known, many embryos also react to music. infant With the birth, the development of the brain and nervous system is still far from complete. Although the vast majority of neurons, about 100 billion, are already present in the brain at this time, their weight is still about a quarter of that of an adult.
The weight and size increase of the brain over time is due to the enormous increase in the connections between the nerve cells and the fact that the thickness of a part of the nerve fibers increases. The thickness growth is due to a sheathing of the fibers. This gives them the ability to continue nerve signals at high speed. This is important in order to be able to absorb information quickly from the environment and react quickly to it. In the infant, reflexes are at the forefront. At the same time, corporeal signals and environmental stimuli are already being translated into responses and reactions at the level of the spinal cord and the brain. In this phase, the whole body of the infant serves to express basic needs and feelings such as hunger, anxiety, and malaise.
After 6 months the brain has developed so far that babies learn to control the upper body and limbs. The control of the legs usually succeeds a few months later, when they begin to crawl. toddler At the age of 2, most of the nerve fibers of the spinal cord, cerebrum and cerebellum have reached their final thickness, thus completing their encasement. You can now send nerve signals back and forth at high speed. These sections of the brain are responsible for the complex coordination of movements and enable the toddler to walk, walk and deal with objects. child In the brain, the number of connections between the nerve cells, the synapses, increases rapidly in the first 3 years of life. During this time, the highly complex neural network is created, in which each nerve cell is connected to thousands of other neurons. At 2 years, babies have as many synapses as adults and with 3 years, even twice as many. This number remains constant until the age of ten. In the following years, the number of synapses decreased by half. From the age of adolescence, there are no major changes in the number of synapses.
The large number of synapses among 2 to 10-year-olds is a sign of the enormous adaptability and learning ability of children at this age. The type and number of synapse-forming and persistent synapses are related to specific learned skills. In the further development of the brain other things come to the fore. The unused and apparently unneeded joints are degraded, while the other nerve fibers between the neurons are used more intensively. This is the reason for the reduction of synapses from the age of 10 by half. In this way, what the child has experienced, experienced and learned up to this age is influencing the structure of the brain.