Chapter 6 - Right from the start

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Right from the start

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UNLIMITED Learning - the new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it.

A sensible guide to producing better, brighter babies
 
  Your body is more fascinating than any machine.
  Every day about two million of its cells wear out. But the body replaces them automatically.
  Every 15 to 30 days your body completely replaces the outermost layer of your skin. What you see in the mirror today is not the same skin you had a month ago.
  But some cells your body will never replace: the 100 billion active nerve cells, or neurons, that make up your brain's cortex.1
  Every one of them was present the day you were born. In your mother's womb you were growing them at an average of 250,000 cells every minute.
  Each one continues to grow in size over the first few years of life. Each one, as we've seen, is capable of sprouting up to 20,000 dendrites. But after birth you never gain another active neuron as long as you live.*
  What happens to each brain in the nine months before birth is therefore vital to later learning ability. When pregnant women are severely undernourished, their children can be born with fewer than half the brain-cells of a healthy child.
  As we've seen, neurons are not the only cells in the brain. We each have up to 900 billion glial cells to nourish the neurons. These glial cells also develop myelin, the sheathing that wraps around our axons. These are the nerve pathways that speed messages from neuron to neuron and

* You do, however, grow new brain cells in the cerebellum, the "little brain" that plays such a big part in storing "muscle memory"; hence the vital importance of learning by doing.

 

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