“What is becoming more certain, however, is the importance of stability and safety in human development, and that such stability is tied to cognitive function.”
Our brain’s ability to process information and adapt effectively is dependent on a number of factors, including genes, nutrition, and life experiences. These life experiences wield particular influence over the brain during a few sensitive periods when our most important muscle is most likely to undergo physical, chemical, and functional remodeling.
According to Tara Swart, a neuroscientist and senior lecturer at MIT, your “terrible twos” and those turbulent teen years are when the brain’s wiring is most malleable. As a result, traumatic experiences that occur during these time periods can alter brain activity and ultimately change gene expressions—sometimes for good.
The “terrible twos”
Throughout the first two years of life, the brain develops at a rapid pace. However, around the second year, something important happens—babies begin to speak.
“We start to understand speech first, then we start to articulate speech ourselves and that’s a really complex thing that goes…
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