How does experience shape the brain?

We take an in depth look at the biological development of the brain in relation to Orson’s experience of the world, this explanation is accompanied by animations that help to visually describe the changes and development taking place. It also includes an interview with Maria Robinson, who describes these processes in an very accessible way.

Good for looking at

  • Babies
  • Child development
  • Brain development
  • Neurons
  • Maria Robinson
  • Early interactions
00:02
There you go.
00:07
Let's find out a bit
00:08
about how the human brain develops.
00:11
Unlike the wrinkled cortex of an adult brain,
00:14
a newborn's cortex is relatively smooth.
00:18
And then the babies experiences shape the brain
00:21
in the first three years to the extent
00:23
that the early cortex is not big enough
00:25
to contain all this growth, so it has the crinkle up
00:28
to be able to fit in the expansion.
00:31
Consequently the head grows rapidly in size as well.
00:35
So how do experiences shape the brain?
00:39
Now the thing about our brains are
00:40
is that they're made up of a hundred billion brain cells
00:44
which are called neurones.
00:46
And when a baby's born, we have all these neurones in place
00:51
but not many connections between them.
00:53
When the baby's getting all this information
00:55
from its senses, what happens is
00:58
that the neurons start to get this information
01:00
from their receivers.
01:01
It gets transferred into an electrical impulse
01:04
and then the information gets passed down the axon
01:07
and it gets sent to the next neuron by chemical messages,
01:11
because there's a tiny little gap between each
01:13
of the neurons called a synapse.
01:16
And then the next neuron gets this information.
01:18
Those connections that we don't use,
01:20
seem to actually get pruned away.
01:23
The experience dictates how the brain itself is organized.
01:27
Those familiar experiences become like
01:30
well-worn pathways through a wood.
01:32
So, the brain cells start firing more strongly
01:35
because they've had that information before.
01:37
So it helps the baby begin to sort out
01:41
what's happening in it's world through this chaos
01:44
of information through all its senses.
01:48
I thought he was gonna be a bit bigger.
01:52
Oh, he's got big fangs.
01:55
I was wondering where the baby would be,
01:58
when I saw the car.
01:59
Did you?
02:00
Yeah.