The brain is not as hardy as we might think as babies get older, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of New South Wales looked at the brain of newborn babies and compared their behaviour as they grew older.
The babies showed fewer activity in areas of the brain that govern thinking, memory and the ability to remember and solve problems, but more activity in the areas of their brains that are associated with emotions, cognition and language.
“The study showed that the brain has a lot of flexibility and we need to take that into account,” said lead researcher Professor Peter R. Stott.
Professor Stott said the results showed that learning is part of the process.””
So we think that the changes that we see in the brain are a consequence of our learning.”
Professor Stott said the results showed that learning is part of the process.
It’s the learning of how to use that learning to make things happen and the learning to be creative.”””
It’s not just about the words, it’s also about the process of learning.”
It’s the learning of how to use that learning to make things happen and the learning to be creative.””
When we start learning to read a book or a new language or to write a story, we have to take these things into account.
“So if we don’t have that learning going on, we’re not going to be able to learn to do all these things.”
Researchers found that the brains of babies were different to adults.
They found that babies’ activity in a region of the cerebral cortex known as the superior temporal sulcus (STS) was higher in the younger age group compared to older infants.
“At the age of about six months, our infant brains have developed a lot, they’ve learnt to think, they’re learning to do a lot,” Professor Stott explained.
“But at six and seven months, the capacity is limited and it’s really only for writing, for playing, for being able to communicate with others.””
Baby brain ‘isn’t quite ready’ to handle big tasksWhile the study was conducted in newborns, Professor Sttt said that they could not tell if this was because of the changes they had experienced during their development or the changes in their brains as they got older.””
But at six and seven months, the capacity is limited and it’s really only for writing, for playing, for being able to communicate with others.”
Baby brain ‘isn’t quite ready’ to handle big tasksWhile the study was conducted in newborns, Professor Sttt said that they could not tell if this was because of the changes they had experienced during their development or the changes in their brains as they got older.
“When babies are young, there’s a lot going on in the developing brain, and in fact the older they get, the more of those things that they are going to have to deal with,” he said.
“That’s why it’s important to make sure that the baby brain is in a state that is not quite ready to handle the demands of big tasks.”
The study, published in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, looked at more than 100 newborns and also looked at a larger group of older babies.
“Our study shows that the neural activity in young babies, and even the older babies, is not what you would expect from a newborn brain,” said Dr Paul McEwen, the lead author of the study.
“Instead, we see a reduction in activity in certain areas of young babies brain.”
He said this suggests that the older baby brain might not be as robust as we would expect.
“There’s a loss of a lot more of that kind of brain activity, and that could be what’s missing, because the older the brain is, the less it has of that sort of activity.”
He added that while it was not known how many baby brains were involved, there were at least 100.
The researchers also found that there was an overall decline in brain activity in younger babies in the two groups.
Professor Statt said this could mean that it was the brain’s ability to process information that was affected.
“I think what we’re finding here is that there is a loss in the neural processing capability that we associate with learning and thinking,” he explained.
The study is a part of a larger project called The Baby Brain: A Brain and a Mind that is examining how different brain regions affect different cognitive processes.
“These results highlight the fact that the infant brain is much more dynamic and flexible than our previous models suggested, and this could lead to future research to better understand how the brain functions and what it can do,” Professor R. J. Rummel said.
Topics:human-interest,cognition,education,nsw,australiaFirst posted May 08, 2018 12:25:15Contact Erin McEwanMore stories from New South Welsh