Workshop: Brain 101

To get us started on workshops that involve kids and their development, we really should start at the beginning. (Well, right after THE beginning—I’m afraid that’s not a PG-rated subject.)

The human brain “turns on” before birth.  That means that we have a built in recorder of input long before we have the availability of language.  It starts with the:
BRAIN STEM

which is all about: BREATHING, BLOOD PRESSURE, HEART RATE, BODY TEMPERATURE.  You know, the absolute basics of what it takes to LIVE.

After all that is up and running, we get to have the second phase courtesy of the:

MID BRAIN
which totally controls SLEEP, APPETITE, HORMONES.  And I had always thought that chocolate was the major influence on these three areas.  Who knew?

Then we get to the fun part.  The:

LIMBIC SYSTEM
Which is in charge of all the what “if” data:  EMOTIONS, IMPULSES, FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE, STORAGE FOR EMOTIONALLY-CHARGED MEMORIES.

To help us sort through all the incoming barrage of information, we have the

ORBITAL FRONTAL CORTEX
which is our CRITICAL SCREENING room.  Yikes, talk about an interactive screen.  Just think how many gigabytes of instant reactions crowd their way onto this multifaceted screen in just one hour, let alone a whole day.  A year.  A decade.  No wonder so many people have mid-life crisis’.

And finally, the big Daddy of them all.  We have the:

CORTEX
which allows us to seem, well, human with our ability to have LOGIC, PLANNING, THINKING, REASONING and COGNITIVE ABILITIES.

All now for the OMG (Oh, my Gosh) part.  We need to accomplish all of these functions before we are four years old.  That’s right.  Four.  I would have said THREE, but you wouldn’t have believed me.  Then why do parents ask their THREE YEAR OLD to make the right choices for crossing the street?  For washing his hands?  For not going to bed while chewing gum?  Now do you believe me?

Up until now I’m betting that most of you didn’t think I had much of a sense of humor.  See?  I do like to have a few giggles.  Of course, THREE years isn’t much time to place one whole person into the realm of total well-being, but there’s hope.

More to come–keep following the BRAIN series.  (Yes, I know, this is just a bit weak on total educational disclosure, but hey, it’s a start.)

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