Friday, November 11, 2011
November Quiz Answers!
The answer is c) Four times larger than at birth
The weight of a newborn's brain is about 25% of its adult weight even though the baby's body is only 5% of its adult weight. By the time the child is 2 years old, the weight of his brain will have reached 75% of its adult weight. Wow!
2. Approximately, how many neurons (nerve cells) are babies born with?
The answer is b) 100 billion neurons (nerve cells).
Babies are born with more neurons than they can possibly use. As their brains develop, many neurons are "pruned" away because they are unused. This is a normal process which helps babies adapt best to their new world. The strongest neural connections remain as babies grow.
3. When do the areas of the brain that are most active in language development grow fastest?
As we've mentioned in past posts, language development is happening before your baby says her first words. In fact, speech that babies hear when they are approaching their first birthday will help them learn to recognize the sounds characteristic of the local language that they will eventually speak.
5. What is the function of “mirror neurons?”
This is a little bit of a trick question because the function of these neurons is controversial. Mirror neurons were first identified in monkeys. It was found that certain parts of monkeys' brains became active when they watched other monkeys reach for some fruit. The parts of the brain that became active in the observing monkeys were the same as those in the monkeys who were reaching for the fruit. Therefore, the observing monkeys had neurons that would "mirror" those in the active monkeys. The theory is that monkeys and babies form connections in the brain while watching others to help them learn and understand what others are doing. The presence of "mirror neurons" may be behind babies' abilities to learn so much so quickly. Not all scientists believe there are functional mirror neurons in babies. Just remember, no matter how his brain makes it happen, your baby will be watching and learning from you all the time.