Early Brain Development and Life Success

Report
WIRED FOR LEARNING:
EARLY BRAIN DEVELOPMENT AND LIFE
SUCCESS
Clancy Blair, PhD
Department of Applied Psychology
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University
Departments of Psychology and Human Ecology and the Community‐University Partnership for the
Study of Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Alberta January 22, 2013
The Science of Early Childhood

Effects of experience on children’s development
 Effects
of parenting and family
 Effects of neighborhoods, schools, communities

The way in which the context in which child
development takes places shapes children’s
psychological and biological development
The Science of Early Childhood


General goals for children’s development
Skills and abilities that enable children to
 Take
initiative but also to comply
 Be emotionally expressive, but also to regulate
expression
 To sustain attention and stay focused but also to run
and play
 To interact socially with other children and adults and to
become conscientious
Self-Regulation

Self-regulation emerges from Other regulation
 develops
gradually from warm, sensitive interactions
with primary caregivers beginning at birth
Warm, sensitive interactions
Self-Regulation

It also emerges from initial capabilities in infancy
related to attention, emotion, and physiological
characteristics
Attention
Emotion
Physiology
Executive Functions

Setting the stage for executive functions
 develop

from infancy to adulthood
Progress in physiological, emotional, and attention
are indicative of the healthy early development of
executive functions
Self-Regulation Hierarchy
COGNITIVE
EMOTIONAL
PHYSIOLOGICAL
Executive Functions


Executive functions include working memory,
inhibitory control, and the flexible shifting of the
focus of attention
Executive functions are important for planning and
problem solving and for regulating emotion – both
increasing as well as decreasing emotion levels
Luria’s peg tapping task
When I tap one
time, you tap
two times …
okay…
peg
…and when I tap
two times, you tap
one time.
alright …
Item selection task
from Jacques and Zelazo (2001), Developmental Neuropsychology
Executive Functions


Executive functions are associated with prefrontal
cortex (PFC) and as such dependent on levels of
arousal in the limbic system associated with emotion
and stress
When we experience stress, physiological systems
produce chemicals that prepare the body and mind
for response
Executive Functions


The limbic system controls levels of stress hormones,
glucocorticoids and catecholamines that act as
neuromodulators in prefrontal cortex
Moderate levels of glucocorticoids and
catecholamines are associated with increased
neural activity in PFC and higher level of EF
 Low
or high levels are associated with reduced neural
activity and lower EF
EXECUTIV E FUNCTION ABILITY
Yerkes-Dodson
Complex learning,
executive function
Simple learning, reactivity,
fear conditioning
EMOTION, ATTENTION, STRESS PHYSIOLOGY
Executive Function Development



Prefrontal cortex is slow maturing area of the brain;
development into young adulthood
Cells that “fire together, wire together”
The brain is developing over time in response to
experience
Self-Regulation



Executive functions are essential for school readiness
and school achievement
Could executive functions/self-regulation be a
primary way in which poverty, early disadvantage
affects children’s chances for success in school and in
life?
If so, what can we do about it?
Self-Regulation

Several studies have shown that poverty affects
levels of children’s stress physiology and partly
through this mechanism, executive functions and
school readiness
Executive Function at age 3 years
Parenting
Positive
7, 15, 24 mos
Income-toNeed Ratio
Cortisol
Baseline
7, 15, 24, mos
-.32***
.14** , .34***, .27***
-.42***
Maternal
Education
-.46***
African
American
ethnicity
.19***
.26***
.15
Executive
Functions
36 mos
-.15**, .-26*** -.39***
-.26***
Parenting
Negative
7, 15, 24 mos
Blair et al. (2011) Child Development
-.27***
IQ
36 mos
Self-Regulation

Several studies have shown that self-regulation
difficulty in childhood is related to self-regulation
difficulty in adulthood
Self-Regulation in Childhood Predicts Later Life Outcomes
Moffitt T E et al. PNAS 2011;108:2693-2698
©2011 by National Academy of Sciences
What can we do about it?

Chicago School Readiness Project (Cybele Raver)
 Teacher
training and coaching by a mental health
consultant to improve the emotional climate of the
classroom, lower children’s level of conflict with peers,
and lower teacher stress
 Changing the climate should reduce self-regulation
challenges for children and teachers, increase attention
focus and executive function, and increase learning
outcomes
Effect Size
CSRP: Impacts on Children’s Self-Regulation and
Pre-Academic Skills
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
-0.2
-0.4
-0.6
-0.8
-1.0
***
**
Executive Effortful
Functioning Control
**
**
Attention/
Impulsivity
PPVT
SOURCE: Raver, Jones, Li-Grining, Zhai, Bub, & Pressler, 2008
NOTES: Significance levels are indicated as * p < 0.10; ** p < 0.05; *** p < 0.01.
***
Letter Early Math
Naming
Skills
CSRP Mediation
Raver et al. (2011). Child Development.
Tools of the Mind



Program based on the work of
Lev Vygotsky developed by
Deborah Leong and Elena
Bodrova
Designed to impact both selfregulation and to teach content
skills in literacy and mathematics
An approach to teaching children
that changes the way children
learn
Tools of the Mind, EF, and academic ability
from Diamond et al. (2007). Science
Tools of the Mind in Kindergarten


Children play
games based on
fictional
narratives
Children follow a
learning plan,
complete a work
product, and set
learning goals
Play based on fictional narrative
Effects of Tools K
0.35
0.3
0.25
0.2
0.15
0.1
0.05
0
-0.05
Math
Reading
Working Memory
-0.1
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
-0.2
-0.4
vocabulary
attention
reasoning
Effects on reading growth
400
390
Reading score
380
370
360
350
340
330
320
310
300
Fall K
Spring K
First grade
What about starting early?

Parenting programs
PALS - Play and Learning Strategies (Susan Landry)
 the ABC program (Mary Dozier)


US Administration for Children and Families Early Head
Start Partnership: Buffering Stress


www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/ehs/buffering_children/abstracts.html
Six independent studies to examine
Validation of the role of stress in the link between poverty
and child outcomes
 Implementation of strategies with primary caregivers in EHS
to promote positive child outcomes
 Efficacy of these strategies in RCTs

Conclusions and Implications



Community efforts can recognize the multiple
influences (genes, physiology, emotion, cognition,
parenting, schooling) in efforts to promote healthy
child development
Research and theory suggest the importance of the
regulation of stress; not that stress is inherently
harmful but is something to be managed –
controllable vs. uncontrollable
Education for children can be structured/enacted in
ways that can promote healthy development
Executive Functions




Executive functions
…are dependent on effective self-regulation
…are likely one aspect of the SES related
achievement gap
…are one common pathway through which child
development intersects with home and school
experiences
Fostering Self-Regulation



Early childhood experience must be understood in
terms of process models not only as input-output
models
Need to understand self-regulation, how children
develop effective and meaningful ways of
acquiring and using information
Providing children with experiences that help them
become efficacious and self-directed
Collaborators and Funders
Penn State University
Mark Greenberg, PhD
Doug Granger, PhD
Cynthia Stifter, PhD
Leah Hibel, PhD
Katie Kivlighan, PhD
Kristine Voegtline, PhD
UNC Chapel Hill
Lynne Vernon-Feagans, PhD
Martha Cox, PhD
Margaret Burchinal, PhD
Mike Willoughby, PhD
Patricia Garrett-Peters, PhD
Roger Mills-Koonce, PhD
Eloise Neebe, MA
Laura Kuhn, MA
New York University
Cybele Raver, PhD,
Daniel Berry, PhD
Alexandra Ursache, MA
Eric Finegood
Alyssa Pintar
Rachel McKinnon
Tools of the Mind
Deborah Leong, PhD,
Elena Bodrova, PhD
Amy Hornbeck
Barbara Wilder-Smith
Funding
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
R03 HD39750 , P01 HD39667, R01 HD51502 (ARRA)
Institute of Education Sciences R305A100058

похожие документы