The Secret Life of the Brain
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episode 2: The Child's Brain
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episode features
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A child's brain is a magnificent engine for learning. A child learns to crawl, then walk, run and explore. A child learns to reason, to pay attention, to remember, but nowhere is learning more dramatic than in the way a child learns language. As children, we acquire language -- the hallmark of being human.
photo of brain xray
In nearly all adults, the language center of the brain resides in the left hemisphere, but in children the brain is less specialized. Scientists have demonstrated that until babies become about a year old, they respond to language with their entire brains, but then, gradually, language shifts to the left hemisphere, driven by the acquisition of language itself.

Photo of young girl   As children, we acquire language-- the hallmark of being human.

But if the left hemisphere becomes the language center for most adults, what happens if in childhood it is compromised by disease? Brain seizures such as those resulted by epilepsy and Rasmussen's syndrome, have a devastating effect on brain development in some children.

Epilepsy FAQ
Uncover the mysteries.
What is Motherese
What is Motherese
How we speak to our children.
Video TKTK
Video Clip
How children learn how to read.

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