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When a newborn baby enters the world the farthest thing from the mind of a parent is the neurological development of the newborn babys brain It is not likely that one would think of a babys brain as a jumble of neurons like a ball of yarn waiting to be sculpted into a work of art However one should be concerned and interested in the development of their childs brain as certain critical periods pass for developing skills in math and logic music emotions language and movement It should be stated that there are certain critical periods that comprise the growth and development of neurons as they wire the brain If these neurons are used they become integrated into the circuitry of the brain by connecting to other neurons if they are not used they may die Begley 1996 p65 One can safely assume that these windows of opportunity are a very critical time in the stimulation of the growth of brain activity By age sixteen the wiring of the neurons throughout the brain is almost complete making it harder for adults to pick up new tasks easily However the adult brain is crisscrossed with approximately 100 billion neurons allowing the brain to have over 100 trillion connections Begley 1996 Genes often determine the brains main circuits but the environment and a childs experiences in that environment shape trillions of finer connections which can determine the personality characteristics that the child will bear Begley 1996 Math and logic are necessities for developing spatial skills both of which intertwine with music After 19 preschoolers were given piano or singing lessons their spatial reasoning skills dramatically improved along with their ability to complete mazes draw geometric figures and copy patterns Begley 1996 Music seems to excite the brain and enhance complex reasoning tasks as nine string players brains were examined with Magnetic Resonance Imaging the amount of smatosensory cortex dedicated to the thumb and fifth fingering digits
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