Middle Childhood Brain & Physical Changes
Middle Childhood Brain and Physical Changes
Two distinct processes are responsible for the changes in the brain during the middle childhood period. First one is “myelination”, an increase in the amount of a fatty sheet covering outer surface of the nerve cells which improves intra cell communication ability and speed. For example, increased myelination in the area of the brain that connects left-right brain hemispheres (corpus callosum) is responsible for improvements in Gross and Fine motor coordination and hand-eye coordination. The second process is called “synaptogenesis” which refers to the increase in the number of inter cell connections, i.e., connections between neurons. More efficient points of communication among neurons translate to enhanced cognitive performance and ability. For example, synaptogenesis in the frontal lobe area of the brain is directly related to improved attention, memory, organizational ability and a complex skill called the “executive functioning” requiring a coordination of many parts of the brain but mainly the frontal lobe helping to accomplish complex cognitive tasks.