What happens in the head of young children?

28 10 2013

The two to four years the brain opens an important window for the development of the language. This was the conclusion of a study by British and American scientists.


A los 6 años, el niño tiene un vocabulario de unas 5.000 palabras.

To the 6 years, the child has a vocabulary of some 5.000 words.

According to the experts, environmental influences have the greatest impact before the four years, While developing the brain circuitry for processing new words.

The research published in The Journal of Neuroscience It suggests that the disorders that cause learning difficulties in language should be addressed early.

It also explains why young children are so good to learn more than one language.

The scientists of the King ’ s College London and Brown University in the United States studied to 108 children with normal development between the ages of one to six years.

They used brain scan to look at the myelin, thermal insulation that develops from birth in brain circuitry.

To his surprise, they discovered that the distribution of myelin is fixed from the four years, which suggests that the brain is most plastic at an early age.

Experts predict that any environmental influence on the development of the brain will be strongest during childhood.

In addition to facilitating children to be bilingual, These findings also suggest there is a critical time during the development when the environmental influence on cognitive abilities may be higher.

Dr. Jonathan O ’ Muircheartaigh, of King ’ s College London and head of the study, He told the BBC that “due to our work it seems to indicate that the circuits in the brain associated with language are more flexible before the four years, early intervention for children with language delays should be started before this critical age”.

“This can be critical for many disorders of development, as Autism, Since the language problems are a common early feature”, added.


Increasing vocabulary


Early childhood is the time in which language develops more quickly. To the 12 months, babies can say simple words like “Mama” and “Pope”, a vocabulary that is enriched exponentially to the 6 years, that the child has knowledge of a few 5.000 words.

Language skills are located in the left frontal region of the brain.

The researchers hoped that more myelin was developed in that area, to the extent that children learned more words.

What they discovered is that it remains constant, suggesting that there is a crucial window to intervene in development disorders.

“This work is important because it is the first one that investigates the relationship between the structure of the brain and language in early childhood, It also shows how this relationship changes with age”, explained Dr. Sean Deoni of the Brown University, study co-author.

“It is important because it is common that the language is altered or delayed in various disorders of development, as Autism”.

For its part, Professor Dorothy Bishop, Department of Neuropsychology at the University of Oxford, He said that the work offers a new important about early development information of the connections in the brain regions that are key to cognitive functions.

“But it is too early to be sure about the functional implications of the result (study)”, added.

The research was funded by the National Institute for Mental Health in the United States.UU., and the Wellcome Foundation, in United Kingdom.


Helen Briggs, BBC



Bbc.co.uk [en línea] London (UK): BBC.co.UK, 28 de octubre de 2013 [REF. 11 October of 2013] Available on Internet: http://mundo/noticias/2013/10/131009_salud_bebe_cerebro_lenguaje_gtg.shtml www.bbc.co.uk/



One response to “What happens in the head of young children?”

9 10 2014
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