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Early brain development briefing

How do our brains develop when we are very young? More importantly, how do those developments affect our readiness to learn? Two experts in neuroscience discuss what goes on in the minds of infants and young children and what can affect those young minds -- and some implications for education and education policy at a lunch briefing co-hosted by AAAS and the Dana Foundation on Capitol Hill in June.

The speakers were James Griffin, Ph.D., Deputy Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch and Director of the Early Learning and School Readiness Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health and Martha Farah, Ph.D., Annenberg Professor of Natural Sciences and Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Society, University of Pennsylvania, with opening remarks by Chaka Fattah, D-PA. Fattah is the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies, which oversees appropriations for the National Science Foundation and other science agencies.  He is also the author of the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative which sets up the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience housed at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to explore and coordinate the current state of federally funded neuroscience.

Watch the presentations below:

Rep. Chaka Fattah welcomes guests to the briefing. Watch

James Griffin goes over the domains of early childhood development: Executive function, learning, and problem solving and how nature vs. nurture effects brain development. Watch | PDF

Martha Farah offers a neurological perspective on the effects of poverty on the developing brain. Watch | PDF

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