The Tween Brain: Midway Between Infant Dependency And Adult Autonomy: Part 2

Last month’s column focused on important developmental events that transform a child’s dependent brain into an adolescent brain that will inevitably reach for adult autonomy. To simplify a complex process, the interim Tween Brain is sufficiently mature to understand the basic dynamics of many of the challenges it confronts. But while it formerly looked to…

The Tween Brain: Midway Between Infant Dependency And Adult Autonomy: Part 1

Our brain’s maturation follows an intriguing 20-year rhythmic trajectory that helps to explain child and adolescent behavior. To simplify a complex process, this development encompasses two distinct 10-year periods—a childhood acceptance of dependence, and an adolescent reach for independence. Each 10-year developmental period begins slowly and awkwardly with a four-year initial activation of the brain…

Mirror Neuron Update

When parents conceive a child, their combined genetic information provides the developing embryo with the necessary bodybuilding directions—such as gender identity, nose placement, and skin color. After the child is born, parents and others must provide cultural information about how to live in our complex social environment. They provide this mentoring through language and our…

Year End Rituals And Traditions

Human consciousness allows us to get beyond the here and now—to elsewhere, and into the past and future. Our ability to comprehend the conceptual breadth of space/place and time/sequence is thus a key cognitive capability. Space and time are basically nature’s way of keeping everything from being everywhere, and from happening all at once. Not…