A lot of development takes place in the brain physically after birth. This involves the process of strengthening, creating and discarding neuron connections. These are connections called synapses and they help organise the process of learning.
Maximum Progress in Early Infancy
At birth, there are few synapses present in the infant and these perform only basic body functions such as eating, sleeping, and breathing. It is in the first three years of an infant’s life that achieves maximum progress in brain development.
The process is natural and the progress happens largely depending on the genes. There is, of course, influence exerted by the surroundings, such as interaction with adults. In particular, the mother, and the prevailing environment at home.
Memory creation is the basis of the process of learning. When a certain experience repeats many times that particular pathway becomes fixed. This, explains The Heguru Education Centre, turns into a memory.
This is how children learn to walk by putting their foot forward one after the other. They also learn words and express feelings. They smile and understand that it brings back another smile.
Adaptation to the Environment
After a while, these activities become possible without much thinking and effort. This happens when the memory processes are complete and it flows seamlessly. The process of creating such memories is a kind of adjustment and adaptation to the environment.
The mind constantly tries to understand its surroundings, and tailors our actions with the outside world. These interactions proceed to promote our very survival and progress. This means that if the early experiences of child were abusive, then it would create memories that tend to adversely affect the child’s view of the world. This may even last a lifetime.
Implicit and Explicit Memories
Babies have implicit memories. These help in knowing their mother’s voice subconsciously, for example. Implicit memories influence their subsequent relationships in life. The explicit memory develops much later around 2 years of age. These are conscious ones and related to language skills as well.
Since so much of progress happens in a child in the early stages, ensuring that they have a happy, calm and loving environment during that period is essential.