Description of the Concept of Neuroscience
Currently, the information space in the field of neurology is determined by the unprecedented dynamics of interdisciplinary brain research, which is unconditionally leading among all other fields of biology and medicine. It is no coincidence that scientists from all over the world unanimously call the 21st century the age of neurosciences. In international scientific databases, guidelines, and policy documents today, neuroscience stands out in a special, independent direction in relation to other sections of knowledge and life sciences, which emphasizes its strategic importance for society. “Neuroscientists focus on the brain and its impact on behavior and cognitive functions, or how people think” (Brazier, 2018, para. 1). It is no coincidence that in recent years developed countries have launched an unprecedented ten-year brain research program – BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) and Human Brain Project, with annual funding of hundreds of millions of US dollars. Similar programs have been adopted in China (Brainnetome), Switzerland (Blue Brain), and a number of other technologically advanced countries.
According to WHO forecasts, neurological and mental diseases in terms of the number of patients and financial costs of treatment and rehabilitation in the next 10-15 years will move to the first place, ahead of cardiovascular and oncological pathology. In this regard, the solution of a complex of problems associated with diseases (lesions) of the nervous system, as well as with the fundamental foundations of the activity of the brain in health and disease, can be recognized throughout the world as one of the key social priorities (Brazier, 2018). Modern clinical neurology is characterized by the introduction of breakthrough personalized technologies for the treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of diseases of the nervous system based on molecular and cellular neurobiology, computer medicine, and other fundamental disciplines. This requires comprehending the latest scientific achievements at a fundamentally new level, which implies the integration of clinical and fundamental knowledge about the nervous system, the creation of a translational neurology system, and the availability of information for a wide range of specialists and society as a whole.
Neuroscience’s Evaluation in Terms of Children (3-5 years) Development
Scientists were able to explore and produce investigations on the human brain due to technological developments in neuroscience, particularly during a child’s first five years of growth. It is a stage of higher plasticity, which refers to the mind’s capacity to change as a result of the countless connections formed between neurons as a consequence of every new knowledge and observation. The brain changes its structure and activities because of plasticity. Given this, it develops new understanding and abilities for children’s life (Lynch, 2019). The brain’s physical layout, chemistry, and function may all be changed thanks to neuroplasticity. This comes as a result of the child’s experiences and stimuli in their interactions with the world.
At the age of two, the youngsters get the capacity to freely move their arms and legs, as well as their physical strength increases. They can interact with other children and distinguish between a range of items, such as signaling toys and materials that they like. With in-group leisure activities and the use of miniature musical instruments, this is a fantastic chance to enhance physiological, mental, and interpersonal skills. Children start to acquire self-control at this stage, so it’s a great time for parents to educate their children on what is right and wrong using simple vocabulary and examples from their day. In this period of life, when children learn how to play in groups and get along with others, learning to manage frustration and setting limits with clear explanations are crucial skills.
Fine motor abilities, or the capacity to utilize and regulate the tiny muscles of the body, are developed in three-year-old children. These skills include using a pencil to sketch, manipulating storybooks, cutting or ripping paper, and donning or fastening a shirt. At this stage, parents may help their children develop autonomy and self-care skills by encouraging them to manage their own possessions and create cleanliness practices with their own bodies. This can be achieved by appealing to the relevant findings from the neuroscientific dimension.
When youngsters are between the ages of four to five, they show an interest in various games and leisure activities with their peers. This is an excellent time to begin learning social skills, including empathy, collaboration, tolerance, solidarity, and reverence for others (Lynch, 2019). Children learn to make judgments and choices at this age, such as recognizing which meals are best, the necessity of following and respecting regulations, and how to improve self-control and manage their feelings. It should be admitted that the abovementioned aspects are being explored and studied by neuroscience through different perspectives, which contribute to a better understanding of children’s needs and capabilities.
At this point, it seems reasonable to compare and contrast Piaget’s approach to the related concept in the context of application to children of 3-5 years in the UK. This related model is Bowlby’s theory of attachment, and it is important to briefly present it here. It used to be that the child maintains a relationship with the mother for the sake of satisfying physical needs. Bowlby added a social component to this: the child’s attachment to the mother helps him adapt to the world around him.
He introduced the concept of a meaningful adult with whom the baby needs constant contact. If for a long time, the child cannot interact with the person to whom he is attached, this can lead to psychological trauma. According to research by psychologists, the types of attachment of a child to their parents persist for life. As adults, people tend to build their relationships on the basis of childhood attachment. Bowlby’s report on child attachment to parents in European countries had a great impact (Crittenden, 2017). After that, parents began to be allowed into children’s hospitals, round-the-clock kindergartens and nurseries were no longer considered the norm, and parental leave increased.
Piaget’s theory has influenced the EYFS and Foundation Phase development in England and Wales. It states that children between 3 to 5 years of age tend to learn best when they are active in their environment and are not afraid to explore it. According to EYFS, practitioners must reflect on the ways in which children learn and reflect on these in their practice (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, 2016). This process helps children develop their thinking and makes them more aware of the world. It has also affected how people think about the concept of readiness or the idea that children must attain a specific intellectual development before being anticipated to grasp definite concepts. Children grow in the prime areas first, which builds the foundation for successful learning in the particular areas, according to the EYFS in England. Practitioners involved in education are required to emphasize the three primary areas significantly.
According to a study, one-third of children get an insecure attachment to a caregiver, and one out of every four children has encountered a traumatic incident that has led to behavioral/emotional instability. This implies that Bowlby’s attachment-aware teaching method that acknowledges the role of emotions would benefit children. There has been a program in Bath and North East Somerset to create attachment-aware techniques in the primary school – mostly for five-year children – classrooms in 2012 (Rose and Parker, 2014). The pyramid approach was utilized to organize the work. It was not intended to transform instructors become therapists but rather to emphasize the need to know their students’ emotional and educational needs. On the basis of attachment theory, it is shown how to raise a child, so they can build relationships with others. To do this, it is necessary to study and correctly go through all six stages of the formation of attachment.
Hence, it seems reasonable to state that Piaget’s development theory plays a significant role within the scope of neuroscience in terms of children of three to five years. The comparison of cases that took place in the UK shows that Bowlby’s model is applied productively to children at practice as well. Both concepts emphasize the importance of taking into account a child’s mental peculiarities inherent to a specific stage of development. However, the crucial difference between them is that Piaget’s theory seems to concentrate more on the cognitive aspect of children. Meanwhile, Bowlby’s model stresses the significance of children’s emotions or their subconscious psychological aspirations.
Brazier, Y. (2018) What is neuroscience? Web.
Crittenden, P. M. (2017) ‘Gifts from Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby’, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22(3), pp. 436–442.
Lynch, M. (2019) The neuroscience of early childhood development. Web.
Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (2016) Supports members in providing the highest standards of care and learning for children. Web.
Rose, J. and Parker, R. (2014) The implications of Attachment Theory for schools. Web.