The Child's Developing Brain

The human brain changes and responds to experience throughout the whole lifespan, but early childhood experiences especially affect the development of the brain’s structure. As such, a lot of brain research focuses on the early years of a child’s life. However, the adolescent phase has also been shown to be a period of intense brain development, and so this period in a child’s life can provide other chances for growth. 


This link explores key concepts.

‘Brain Hero’ portrays how actions taken by parents, teachers, policymakers, and others can affect life outcomes.


The developing brain and what influences it.


Articles & Books

Early experiences are linked to brain development and this article clearly explains this using evidence from studying children in care in Bucharest.

This allows you to see a visual map of the developing brain at different ages using a series of MRI scans.

Some helpful books by Dr Dan Siegel include:

‘The Whole Brain Child’

‘The Yes Brain Child’

‘No Drama Discipline’

‘Brainstorm: The power and purpose of the teenage brain’


Organisations and Websites

The Centre for the Developing Child’s purpose is to drive science-based innovation

Dr Dan Siegel writes widely about brain science, mindfulness, attachment and parenting