Scientific Basis - Fundamental concepts
Development of children: Neuroscientific Basis
Experiences of stimulation are based on knowledge of the development of the nervous system, specifically the brain; the most complex organ of the human being that gathers all the cultural and natural stimulation.
It is known that the cerebral tissue matures in a progressive way. This marvelous process can be positively formed by an enrichment of the environment.
General characteristics of the nervous system
The complexity of the nervous system interactions and the elevated number of interconnections existing between the nerve cells have made scientific researchers accept that its development depends on epigenetic factors that activate and modulate the genetic information present in neuron cells during growing.
About 75% of the nervous system maturity is genetically programmed. The rest depends on experiences, that is why providing an enriched environment, makes it possible to promote a better bio-psychological-social development of kids between the ages of 0 and 6 years. During this stage it is possible to modify neurons structurally and functionally depending on its use or disuse.
Structural and functional unit of the nervous system
Neurons are the anatomic and functional unit of the nervous system. They are complex cells composed by soma, axon and dendrites. Dendrites are the structures related with reception and synapses.
The brain and its interaction with the environment
It was first believed that the nervous system was relatively rigid and that it would change just a little during the first stages of maturity. This concept now differs because of the influence of two variables: age and use of the neurons.
Even though the functioning of the nervous system is not associated with the brain exclusively, in order to have an adequate development, the brain should be intact. This is the reason that all the efforts to increase intelligence should consider the brain capacities.
All human beings are born with less than a third of brain adult capacity. After being born, the cortex and all the central nervous systems are developed rapidly, as a consequence of the environment and experiences.
When a human being is born, he brings a brain that has to grow and develop with a potential capacity that will allow itself to establish the adequate mechanisms to receive and manage stimuli in an advance way.
The intense interaction with the environment is a basic element that conditions the development of the brain.
Experiences, training and symbolic material that the child receives through language and education will allow transformation of the structure and cognoscitive organization. This way, the quality of interaction of the children with their environment during the first years of life will be definite for the subsequent intellectual development, as well as the basic patterns of their personalities.