Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Brynn is nearly 8 years old. I remember from my coursework in Developmental Psych as an undergrad (my professor, Bob Bornstein, absolutely rocked which is why I can actually remember this stuff) that 8 years old is a pretty important time in a kid's life. Biologically speaking, anyway.

So today I pulled out my notes from Psy 231 and Psy 333 to see if I could get some insight into what is going on inside little Brynn these days. Here are a few nuggets for you:

  • At 8 years old, the hypothalamus (that's part of the brain) sends a message to increase production of all three types of hormones: thyroid stimulating hormone, growth hormone, and gonadotropic hormones. (Oh boy. Gonadotrophic hormones, here we come.)
  • We have all the neurons we will ever have by the time we are 8 years old. If we have a viable nerve cell, we can always add more axons and dendrites, but no more neurons. (Have I fed her enough fish oil? Do omega 3s even help with development of neurons? They sound important -- I hope she has a lot of them.)
  • Brain shrinkage starts around age thirty. (That explains a lot. Maybe mom's brain shrinkage contributes to the 8 year old's actions?)
  • According to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, at age 6-7 kids switch from associationistic learning to hypothesis testing. (I think there's been some hypothesis testing taking place in our house lately.)
  • The concrete operational thought stage starts at age 8. During this stage, the child confuses the way she thinks about the world with the way the world really is. Eg: People with opinions different from hers are either dumb, blind, or lying. (Hmmmm...not so much looking forward to that.)
I've got a few more nuggets about what makes a functional family. Will share those another day!

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