When I see a little kid, I usually think about how much potential their little brain has. Don’t you?! Even if you’ve never studied neuroscience, you probably ponder the development of the brain. A child’s brain is developing so. very. fast. It’s literally like a sponge, learning to read and write and sing and play sports and communicate. I remember being frustrated as a little kid because I wanted to speed up the process of learning those skills- little did I know how very fast I was actually learning. For instance, I remember thinking how I hated to write cursive because it took too long, how I struggled with having too small of a vocabulary to properly express what I wanted to say to adults, and how I wanted to be able to doodle exactly the picture in my head instead of fumbling with my markers and making a mess… But all those skills were all BRAND NEW things for little me- I was learning them from scratch, and in retrospect, I learned A LOT of stuff in a short amount of time.
Human development is a seriously fascinating topic. It is an absolute marvel that every human you know started from two singular specialized cells, an egg and a sperm. The journey the sperm takes is a brutal one through the woman’s oviduct, then finally penetrating the wall of the protected egg. The fertilized egg begins to divide to become layers of gradually more specialized cells, some turning into a heart, stomach, brain, etc. By 8 weeks after fertilization, most of the body’s little tiny rudimentary organs are in place. At this time, the head is about half of the total size of the embryo, due to the fact that the human brain does some serious development action in the womb. This area will continue to develop and grow- I mean, babies have proportionally huge heads. In fact, “growth” doesn’t really ever stop… fortunately our heads stop growing physically larger, but the synapses and neural connections we make between brain cells is essentially infinite throughout the course of our lives. In the womb, the brain is just getting started.
We started as a seemingly simple clump of cells. From those homogenous cells, an embryo, then a fetus, them oh my god A HUMAN DEVELOPS!?!? HOW?!?! Well, watch this video below to see it and maybe it help substantiate my wonder and awe. From a mathematician’s standpoint, it is incomprehensible how amazing the creation of a little baby is. It is also extraordinary to watch the birth scene with this new imaging technology.
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