Science is discovering why children learn faster than adults

The key is in a neurotransmitter in the brain that works differently in boys.

If you think your elementary school kids are “smarter” than you, don’t worry, that’s normal. Study published in Current Biology Explain Why do children absorb new information faster than adults?.

According to the study, children and adults They have differences in GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid)which is a brain neurotransmitter responsible for stabilizing newly acquired substances.

The study demonstrated that when faced with new visual stimuli, the level of GABA in adults remains constant, while Kids get a quick boost that helps kids’ brains To get new information faster and more efficiently.

Takeo Watanabe of Brown University (Rhode Island) says: United State).

School-age children can learn more in a given period of time than adults. Illustration photo by Shutterstock.

neural mechanisms

The aim of the study was to identify the neural mechanisms responsible for more efficient learning among children.

To do this, they looked for differences in GABA and investigated how levels change before, during and after learning in children and adults.

Using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, they found out visual learning It caused an increase in GABA in the children’s visual cortex The area of ​​the brain that processes images– And that this increase continued for several minutes after the end of the training.

However, with the same visual training, Adults had no change in GABA.

“In subsequent behavioral experiments, we found that indeed, children achieved stability in new learning much faster than adults, consistent with the popular belief that children outperform adults in the ability to Learning”.

Results "Teachers and parents should be further encouraged to give children many opportunities to acquire new skills".  Photo: AlesiaKan/Shutterstock.
The results of the study should encourage teachers and parents to give children plenty of opportunities to acquire new skills. Photo: AlesiaKan/Shutterstock.

Frank concludes, “GABA is an essential component of effective learning in children.”

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The results of the study “should encourage teachers and parents to give children many opportunities to acquire new skills, Study advises, whether it’s learning the multiplication tables or riding a bike.

The findings may also change neuroscientists’ understanding of the maturation of children’s brains.

Although children’s brains are not yet fully mature and many of their functions are not as efficient as adults, “children are generally not outdone by adults,” notes Watanabe.

“On the contrary, children, at least in some areas such as visual learning, are superior in their abilities to adults.”

In future studies, the team will analyze GANA responses in other domains of learning such as reading and writing.


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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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