Findings: Some neural systems and subsystems are highlymodifiable (neuroplastic), with the potential for eitherenhancement or vulnerability.
The most plastic neural systems are also vulnerableamong individuals with lowersocioeconomic backgrounds.
Early environmental enrichment in the form ofinterventions can protect and enhance the plastic and potentially vulnerable neurocognitive systems in children with, or at risk for, developmental deficits.
Intervention Framework - Use neuroimaging to observedifferences among children and adults from different socioeconomic backgrounds- Vulnerable systems can be enhanced- Early intervention buffers and protects vulnerable neural systems
Intervention Overview- Children living at or below poverty level - Randomly assigned to control or treatment group- No difference between groups in student age, gender, language, nonverbal intelligence; parent age, maritial/partner status, education level, socioeconomic background
Key Components of Intervention- High levels of positive reinforcement and specific praise - Consistent discipline with clear expectations and natural consequences- Use language to encourage high quality interactions - Provide frequent opportunities for choosing, thinking, solving problems
Intervention Results- Improvement in student language, cognition, and attention- Parent training yielded significant student outcomes - Ongoing, longitudinal studies in progress
“These studies contribute to a basic understanding of the nature andmechanisms of human brain plasticity. In addition, these results lend impetus to further development and broaderdeployment of education programs based on evidence from research in neuroscience, especially those that impact at-risk populations to reduceacademic achievement gaps, resulting in long-term positive outcomes for individuals and society.” H.N.
For More Information: Brain Development Lab www.bdl.purpled. Com DVD: Changing Brainson YouTube or free download changingbrains.com
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