A closer look at the crucial period for brain and language development
The first 1001 days of a child’s life, from conception to their second birthday, are critical to the development of their complex brains and the cognitive skills that depend on them. This time marks the occurrence of milestones in motor skills such as sitting up and walking, but also language acquisition. Most of the process involved in learning to understand, speak and use your native language takes place in the first 1001 days of your life.
During your early development, the structure of your brain takes shape; together with the combination of all your genes and external influences (such as the family in which you grow up), this aspect plays a vital role in determining how you will develop. If something goes wrong in this delicate interaction, the consequences can be dire. In such cases, however, what precisely has gone wrong tends to be unclear – as is what we can do about it. A team of scientists from various fields will be working together with partners from outside the university to explore this theme, focusing on early language development.