Children show increasing control of emotions and behavior during their early years. Our studies suggest a shift in control from the brain’s orienting network in infancy to the executive network by the age of 3—4 years. Our longitudinal study indicates that orienting influences both positive and negative affect, as measured by parent report in infancy. At 3—4 years of age, the dominant control of affect rests in a frontal brain network that involves the anterior cingulate gyrus. Connectivity of brain structures (...) also changes from infancy to toddlerhood. Early connectivity of parietal and frontal areas is important in orienting; later connectivity involves midfrontal and anterior cingulate areas related to executive attention and self-regulation. (shrink)
In our view, a central issue in relating brain development to education is whether classroom interventions can alter neural networks related to cognition in ways that generalize beyond the specific domain of instruction. This issue depends upon understanding how neural networks develop under the influence of genes and experience. Imaging studies have revealed common networks underlying many important tasks undertaken at school, such as reading and number skills, and we are beginning to learn how genes and experience work together to (...) shape the development of these networks. The results obtained appear sufficient to propose research-based interventions that could prove useful in improving the ability of children to adjust to the school setting and to acquire skills like literacy and numeracy. (shrink)
Research in cognitive neuroscience now considers the state of the brain prior to the task an important aspect of performance. Hypnosis seems to alter the brain state in a way which allows external input to dominate over internal goals. We examine how normal development may illuminate the hypnotic state.