Building a Coordinated Brain

At 12 months, many babies are beginning to say their first words. By this age, simultaneous activity in both the speaking and listening areas of the brain is even stronger. This coordinated brain activity is the result of both biology and experience. As infants hear more and more language, the connections, and the degree of coordination between these two brain areas grow. Early experiences with language are especially critical for infants. The infant brain is beginning to connect and coordinate these regions long before they utter their first word.

  • Axon
    output fiber of a neuron
    Cell body
    the neuron's processing center
    input fibers of a neuron
    Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
    a non-invasive brain imaging technique used to determine which regions of the brain are active
    cells located in the brain and throughout the body that are specialized to communicate messages
    the process of removing excess synapses
    Sensitive period
    a time in development when the brain is especially ready to learn a skill
    connection point between neurons