Brain Plasticity and Learning

After having learned about the two brain hemispheres, let’s take a look at brain plasticity. First of all, what is it? Simply put, it is the process happening in the brain when a person learns new things. Brain cells, called neurons, are connected in a certain way. When something new is learned or memorized, new connections are formed between neurons; these connections are what allows us to use our new skills and knowledge. In the same way, when a connection has not been used for a long time, it disappears, so that neurons can form more useful new connections. That is why when you don’t practice a skill for a long time, you’re not as good as you used to be.

The brain’s ability to change and form new connections is what is called brain plasticity. And while it happens all life long, anytime we learn something new, it is particularly relevant for children. Indeed, as early as the brain begins to form in the fetus, brain plasticity is the process which allows it to organize itself to later become a functional newborn baby brain. And it doesn’t stop then: Throughout childhood, brain plasticity is the phenomenon which explains the child’s development.

It is thus important to keep in mind when you care about your child’s development! The most interesting thing, though, is the fact that brain plasticity is much more easy and efficient in children: Young brains can change and remodel themselves much more easily than mature brains can. This has a lot of important consequences to keep in mind when raising a child: for example children having been subjected to abuse will likely be changed forever by the trauma. The good flip side of the coin is that children learn much more quickly than adults do! For instance the child learns his mother tongue quickly and instinctively, while as an adult, learning a second language is a long and difficult process.

And the younger the child is, the quicker she learns. That’s why it is important to give your young kid plenty of opportunities to learn new things, the earlier the better!

Feel free to try our Moona Puzzles "Fruits and Berries" with your toddlers and preschoolers.

This is one of the reasons we have chosen to design the Moona apps for toddlers and very young children: To take profit of the amazing learning capacity kids have at that age, in a fun and seamless way! We believe that children develop better with the help of adults who help them, and we hope our app will give you new ideas for playing, learning and communicating with your child.

Clémentine Carle
Moona Journal Author

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