Music, language and baby brains

As I may have mentioned, I’ve been greatly enjoying the Charlie Rose brain series, in which the esteemed Mr. Rose spends an hour interviewing various neurological experts about the workings of the human brain. I recently watched the fourth episode (viewable at the link) about the development of the brain during childhood.

We’ve all heard that the best time to get someone learning a second language or musical instrument is before the age of seven. Scientists are beginning to fully understand why this is. As you may know, brains are made up of brain cells, called neurons. Neurons connect to other neurons via synapses. A child’s brain actually has more synapses than an adult — it’s basically sitting there waiting to be wired up to knowledge. Why do you start to shed synapses past the age of seven? They didn’t really address that, but I would presume that your brain starts to say, “It doesn’t seem like you’re using these synaptic connections, so I’m going to trim them down for efficiency.”

Something interesting mentioned on a previous episode was that for stroke patients, the brain plasticity of childhood is sometimes reintroduced. Basically your brain says, “Well, this stroke has pretty much fucked you, so I’m going to give you some time to rewire your remaining equipment for better performance.” Within a short time frame, however, brain plasticity is turned off again. So it’s important to try and restore function to stroke patients quickly.

Those of you who were not immersed in language or musical education at an early age might be wondering why your parents denied you the experience. Obviously it’s because they hated you and wanted to block every opportunity that would have allowed you to better yourself. Now would be a good time to call them up and scream obscenities at them.

4 Responses to “Music, language and baby brains”


  1. John Saleeby

    More Wacky AEROSMITH News!!!

    The Rock Press is making a BIG DEAL out of Joe Perry getting hit by a little old lady Grandmother while riding around on his Italian motorcycle. Oh, ha ha, Joe got hit by an old lady, ha ha ha! Yeah, Joe got rear ended by grey haired old Granny, but she’s only THREE YEARS older than he is!!! Joe Perry is a little old man and a Grandfather! What the fuck are these people carrying on about?

    Joe suffered minor injuries that will not intefere with Aerosmith’s forthcoming US Tour.

    Rick Neilson of Cheap Trick has SIX Grandchildren including a two year old who recently thrilled the crowd at one of his Grandpappy’s gigs by wandering onto the stage and performing some genuinely masterful air guitar. The kid has since been signed up by Axl Rose to play lead guitar on the next Guns N’ Roses album coming out in 2038.

    This shit is TIRED.

  2. John Saleeby

    That is some quality Internet Comments Section Posting.

  3. John Saleeby

    Got punched in the nose this morning – Blood EVERYWHERE!! There’s probably some speckled in front of your house. Sorry.

  4. Wil

    Apology accepted.