Brain development is “stimulus-dependent,” meaning that the electrical activity in every circuit—sensory, motor, emotional, and cognitive–shapes the way that circuit gets wired. Similar to computer circuits, neural circuits process information through the flow of energy (electricity). Unlike computer circuits, however, the circuits in our brains are not fixed structures. Every experience–whether it is seeing one’s first rainbow, riding a bicycle, reading a book, sharing a joke–excites certain neural circuits and leaves others inactive. Those that are consistently ‘turned on’ over time will be strengthened, while those that are rarely excited may be dropped away. This is called neuroplasticity and it is both good and bad. If my first experience with the world was an inattentive parent who neglected me, I may experience adult behavioral issues with getting needs met. We neurologically tie connections to feelings, experiences, events, object identification, color, sound, and every conceivable stimulus.

Our "Stimulus-Dependent" Brain 1
What functional neurologists say, “Cells that fire together, wire together,” meaning connections are made, not hard-wired. The elimination of unused neural circuits, also referred to as “pruning,” may sound harsh, but it is generally a good thing. It streamlines children’s neural processing; making the remaining circuits work more quickly and efficiently. Without synaptic pruning, children wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, or even see properly. But it goes both ways. If a two-year-old is never taught social behavior skills, pathways of ‘normal’ behavior far outreach cultural acceptance. Also, abused or neglected children create pathways of worthlessness that become superhighways easily traveled throughout life. This is the neural connection to “sins of the father carrying out to the third and fourth generation.” The cycle must be broken.

Breaking negative neuronal cycles takes conscious, constant effort. Like habits, these undesirable thoughts and behaviors CAN be re-wired. 

At any stage of development, other environmental toxins including maternal malnutrition, substance abuse (including alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs, and use of prescription and over-the-counter medications), exposure to chemicals or radiation, vaccinations, pathogens (like Lyme and other bacteria) and viral infections (such as measles) can lead to adverse effects on the developing brain. It goes without saying then that even the most loving parents; living in the fallen world which is inescapable with its chemical, EMFs, and destroyed food supplies (GMOs, additives, pesticides, herbicides…) can have children with brain issues. It’s NOT about blame; it’s about recognition and correction!

Look for more on this topic in our BRAIN SERIES