Sarah D. Sparks (Education Week) | Scientists find learning is not ‘hard-wired’

In contrast to the popular conception of the brain as a computer hard-wired with programs that run different types of tasks, said Dr. Jay N. Giedd, a neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health, brain activity has turned out to operate more like a language. Different parts of the brain act like the letters of the alphabet, he said, and by the time a child is 8 months old, the letters are there—the basic connections have formed in the hippocampus or the prefrontal cortex, say—but then through experience, those neural letters activate in patterns to form words, sentences, and paragraphs of thought. That analogy offers a whole different idea of how the brain develops, both normally and abnormally.


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Sarah D. Sparks (Education Week) | Scientists find learning is not ‘hard-wired’


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