- The quality of learning before 5 years is decisive for a successful life around your forties
- It has effects on social behavior but also on the size of the brain
Talking, playing, interacting with young children to awaken them is the surest way to lead them to a successful life when they are adults. This is shown by a study conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience which concludes that a good learning environment in the first five years of life has an impact. four decades later on the size and function of the brain.
“Our research shows a relationship between brain structure and five years of high-quality educational and social experiences,” says Craig Ramey, lead author of the study. This consisted in analyzing, using brain imaging, the statistically significant changes that appear in the structure of the brain in middle age depending on the environment in which the first five years of life took place.
High quality educational support
A group of children received health care, nutrition and family support services from the age of six weeks to which some five years of high-quality educational support were added five days a week and fifty weeks. per year. Follow-up examinations of 47 study participants showed that the 29 who were in the group who received educational enrichment focused on promoting language, cognition and interactive learning had an increased body size. entire brain, including the cortex and areas associated with language.
These findings were made by studying, by the time the children were in their late 30s or early 40s, scans of the whole brain, but also more focused examinations of the cortex and five other brain regions. selected for their expected link with cognitive stimulation.
Biological effects accompany behavioral benefits
The scientists point out that the results for the group benefiting from an educational enrichment were more spectacular for the men than for the women, without that the reasons for this situation can be explained.
“These results reveal that biological effects accompany the behavioral, social, and economic benefits of early childhood experiences and support the value of positive learning and socio-educational support for all children, particularly in improving outcomes. results of children who are vulnerable in the first years of life, “stress the researchers.