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4.1: Introduction to Chapter 4

  • Page ID
    188762
    • Christine Moon & Hannah Mechler
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    clipboard_e25c7ccafc62e1a80b4d87ae41c33d4ab.png
    Image 4.1 "Front View of Brain" is licensed under CC by 1.0

    This chapter aligns with student learning outcome (SLO) # 1: explain current theories and ongoing research in early care and education.

    We study the brain to get a better understanding of children’s development, possible disabilities, recognize the giftedness in all of us and to improve programs and policies for children and families.

    This chapter will cover how the brain develops and what is necessary to keep it healthy. It will explore functions of brain regions in a typically developing brain and the impact of trauma and stress. Finally, it will address applications of brain development to the field of Early Childhood.

    Key points from this chapter
    • Understanding brain growth and development.
    • Learn the parts of the brain.
    • Discover the implications of brain development for Early Childhood Education.
    Terminology found throughout this chapter

    In addition to terms found in the preface to the text, this chapter introduces terminology including:

    1. Neuron: brain cell
    2. Dendrite: part of the neuron that receives information from other cells
    3. Axon: part of the neuron that sends information to other cells
    4. Synaptic Gap: the tiny space between neurons
    5. Neurotransmitters: chemical messengers that transmit information between neurons
    6. Pruning: reducing the number of connections and neurons in the brain
    7. Plasticity: how easily the brain can change itself. It is more plastic in the youngest years
    8. Window of Opportunity: times when the brain is best suited to learn a task.
    9. Enriched Environment: a stimulating, challenging, supportive and loving environment
    10. Myelination: protective fatty coating on the mature neuron
    11. Boundaries: how quickly a brain can develop myelin
    12. Brain Stem and midbrain: lower part of the brain concerned with survival
    13. Cerebellum: part of the brain concerned with coordination
    14. Limbic system: mid part of the brain concerned with emotions and memory
    15. Cortex: outer part of the brain concerned with higher level thinking
    16. Occipital lobe: part of the cortex that processes mainly vision
    17. Temporal lobe: part of the cortex that processes mainly hearing, speech and language
    18. Parietal lobe: part of the cortex that processes mainly sensory information
    19. Frontal lobe: part of the cortex that processes mainly sensory and motor information
    20. Prefrontal lobe: part of the cortex that processes mainly critical thinking, problem solving and executive function and self-regulation
    21. Emotional Intelligence: 5 specific skills related to understanding feelings of self and others and using them to make positive life decisions
    22. Stress: physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension
    23. Eustress: positive stress
    24. Distress: negative stress
    25. Thalamus: acts like a gate for sensory information coming into the brain
    26. Cortisol: hormone released during stress
    27. ACES: Adverse Childhood Experiences
    28. Cortical Modulation: ratio of function in brain areas
    29. Mindfulness: being aware of your body and surroundings in the current moment
    30. Resilience: ability to overcome early hardships
    clipboard_e90499c8be9f241e8063dec8be49399fd.png
    "human-brains" by @Peta_de_Aztlan is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    This page titled 4.1: Introduction to Chapter 4 is shared under a CC BY-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Christine Moon & Hannah Mechler.

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