By Barbara Hansen Lemme
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Additional info for Development in Adulthood
However, most theorists doubt very much that there are critical periods for all skills and knowledge domains. Oftentimes people become quite proficient in topics or skills that they don’t begin to tackle until they’re teenagers or adults. For example, I didn’t learn to drive until I was 16, didn’t begin to study psychology until I reached college, and didn’t begin to play racquetball 3Many developmentalists prefer the term sensitive period, which connotes a more open-ended, flexible window of opportunity.
Such amnesia is especially common when the person is unconscious CHAPTER 2 Learning and the Brain 29 for a short time following the injury, presumably because the individual is no longer able to think about events that have recently occurred (Barbizet, 1970; D. J. Siegel, 1999; Squire, 1987). As for where learning occurs, the answer is: many places. , 2007; Huey, Krueger, & Grafman, 2006). The small, seahorse-shaped hippocampus also seems to be a central figure in the learning process, binding together information it receives from various parts of the brain to create and then consolidate new memories (Bauer, 2002; Bauer, Wiebe, Carver, Waters, & Nelson, 2003; Davachi & Dobbins, 2008; Squire & Alvarez, 1998).
The concept of critical period tells us the best time for a particular ability to be nurtured, but it doesn’t necessarily tell us the only time. , American Sign Language) until they reach school age. Rather than fret over what should have happened but didn’t, researchers and educators can better serve young people who have missed critical experiences by devising and implementing interventions that enable those individuals to make up at least some of the lost ground (Bruer, 1999). ◆ Brain research can help us refine our theories of learning and cognition, but it can’t tell us very much about what to teach or how best to teach it.