As scientists continue to learn about the brain, understanding about how the it develops continues to evolve. Recent research suggests that the number of new neural connections forming in the early years of life has been grossly underestimated. Rather than 700 connections per second, scientists now agree that it is more than 1 million new connections per second!
Here’s the updated information for the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University.
Brains are built over time, from the bottom up. The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. Simpler neural connections and skills form first, followed by more complex circuits and skills. In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second. After this period of rapid proliferation, connections are reduced through a process called pruning, which allows brain circuits to become more efficient.
For those that share this information, please update your materials to reflect these new numbers. The Center for the Developing Child shares four examples of where they have updated the number: their page on Brain Architecture, the brief on the Science of ECD, the brief “Five Numbers to Remember about ECD,” and the PDF of their recent paper, From Best Practices to Breakthrough Outcomes