Trans4mind Home Page

Developing Intelligence in Young Children

By Esther Andrews

New and very exciting discoveries about brain development are being made all the time, and especially recently, when research has accelerated and increased, as a result of new technologies that make it possible to research the brain using unobtrusive methods. This time I'd like to write about a few research reports that were published recently, and what the researchers suggest to parents and educators in regards to activities they can do with children.

David Armor, a professor at the school of Public Policy at George Mason University, has found that parents have more impact on a child's developing intelligence than anyone else. "Parents have more impact on their child's IQ than any other persons or institutions, including schools," Armor said. "The impact is greatest in infancy and early childhood, much less after ages eight or nine." As a result of his research, a few of the things he suggests to parents are:

  • Take care of your own education.
  • Wait until you are at least in your 20's before having a child.
  • Get good nutrition and pre-natal healthcare.
  • Breastfeed your child as long as possible.
  • Spend as much time as possible instructing your child–starting as early as possible–in reading, numbers, shapes, colors, etc.
  • Expose your child to as many experiences outside the home as possible.

Americans tend to believe that their children's intelligence is either innate or based on what they learn in school, Armor's research shows the importance of another set of influences: early family environments. There is ample evidence that a child's intelligence is not fully given at birth, but continues to evolve and change at least through the early elementary school years.

A new research published by UC Irvine, shows that piano and computer training boost student math achievements. The study involved 135 second grade students, who took piano lessons and practiced solving math puzzles on a computer. Their math skills improved significantly. This study was published in the March issue of the journal Neurological Research. The study was led by UCI physics professor emeritus Gordon Shaw, who said that this was the latest in a series that link musical training to the development of higher brain functions. Only 4 months of the aforementioned activities increased the scores on fractions tests and proportional math by 27%. Piano instruction is thought to enhance the brain's "hard wiring" for spatial-temporal reasoning, or the ability to visualize and transform objects in space and time, Shaw said. Music involves ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time.

Marian Diamond, a professor of Anatomy/Neuroanatomy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science, as a result of her research in the laboratory, suggested to stimulate all the senses, but not necessarily all at once. A multisensory enrichment develops all of the cortex: whereas, an input from a single task stimulates the growth of only a precise area of the brain. She also suggests setting the stage for enriching the cortex by first providing a steady source of positive emotional support - love, encouragement, warmth and caring. She suggests to present to the child a series of challenges that are neither too easy nor too difficult for the child at his or her stage of development. Allowing for social interaction is very important, as well as providing sound nutrition. She also mentions the importance of promoting the development of a broad range of skills and interests that are mental, physical, aesthetic, social and emotional.

Navzer Engineer, Cherie Percaccio and Michael Kilgard, researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas, have mentioned that brains of both animals and humans are "plastic" throughout one's lifetime. They commented that the plasticity, the capacity of the brain to change, is strongly influenced by environmental conditions. They claim that enriched environments increase brain thickness, the number of neurons, and the number of connections between the neurons. In their study they wanted to find out whether environmental conditions influence neurons in the auditory cortex. They performed their research on laboratory rats. Rats were reared in standard or enriched housing conditions.

Their major finding was that enrichment dramatically increased the strength of auditory cortex responses. They also found that when the rats were transferred back to a standard environment from the enriched one, responses decreased by as much as 60% within a week of moving to the boring environment.

Cortical responses of both young and adult animals benefit from exposure to an enriched environment and are degraded by exposure to an impoverished environment and these changes occurred rapidly within days of moving. Enrichment also made primary auditory cortex neurons more sensitive to quiet sounds and more selective for tone frequency.

Dr. Beatriz Marique conducted a research in Venezuela, for a period of over sixteen years. The goal of her research was to analyze the relationship between the the development and stimulation techniques of in-uterus fetus, newborns and children up to the age of six. The research population included Venezuelan first time mothers with healthy pregnancies, and their children.

In this research it was shown that from the very moment of birth, the babies who were enriched were more alert and turned their heads towards their parents. They recognized the music they heard in the womb. They were dynamic and relaxed, had initiative and were very curious. They had good hand-eye coordination, they laughed easily and were very social.

In other research, there is evidence that Omega-3 fats contribute to brain development in young children, and that when mothers have a diet rich in Omega-3 foods (cold water fish fish like Salmon, Trout and Sardines and Flax seed and nuts) while pregnant, the substance will be present in the baby's body. Also, mothers who have a diet rich in these food, will have more DHA in their breast milk, which contributes to healthy brain development. A good balanced diet that includes Omega-3 fatty acids has shown to support brain development in young children and to increase their intelligence.

Esther Andrews has grown 2 highly gifted children, and managed the 'School of Gifted Education' for many years. In her newsletter, 'Develop Your Child's Genius' she shares her experiences and provides information about fun and easy activities you can do with your children, to develop their intelligence in a few minutes a day. You can subscribe here.
More Child Development & Parenting articles

Good info on many topics:
Submit your own article

Tools for Transformation

personal development
Trans4mind offers its visitors a huge range of complimentary personal development resources for self-directed education and transformation of the whole person...
Introduction to our Tools for Transformation. We aim to open up the mind to new ideas, new challenges and new solutions - to think differently and be creative.
Describes all the contents of
Here are our favorite quotes. The best quotes distill powerful wisdom into a few words and can make a real difference to our perception and understanding. Including:
Life  Purpose, Spiritual  Awareness, Success and Abundance, Wisdom from the Heart, Happiness and Wellbeing, Communication & Relationships, Motivation and Leadership, Parenting and Education, Emotional Intelligence, Transitions in Life, Social Community, Quirky Quotes, Creativity, Proverbs, Humor - and many further topics in the Wisdom from the Heart section.
Articles by Peter Shepherd and Wallace Huey. Imagine if the values of the heart could be brought into our families, communities, charities, organizations and businesses... what kind of a world would this create?
Audios by Peter Shepherd, focused on key personal development topics, to help advance your personal growth.
A free meditation program to help you experience the state of unconditional love - key to lasting joy and fulfillment in your life.
Become more clear about your own identity, what you want in life - your life vision - and how to manifest your full potential.
If we do actually have a soul, then where does it go after death? Near-death experiences provide convincing answers.
Check out our fascinating collection of complete books for you to read online, including Peter Shepherd’s Transforming the Mind, which created the foundation of this site back in 1997.
Over 250 PDFs to freely download covering many personal development topics - and including the range of Trans4mind publications.
Free personality test based on the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. See yourself as others may see you, in a more objective light, so you can know yourself better.
Watch our selection of over 400 personal development videos by top experts, offering many insights about mind, body and spirit.
Our site is expansive, including loads of helpful resources. See what else we have.

Check out the menus on the top of every page too!

Trans4mind Companies


Today companies need to find new and innovative ways to prosper in a fast-changing business world. Uniquely based on empowering personal development, supported by personal trainers, Trans4mind Training's online interactive video workshops meet this need without any disruption to your existing operations

Learn more & get started...

Unlocking Mental Wealth. Activating Self-Leadership
Hypnosis Downloads

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd
Terms of Use & Privacy Policy       Email Webmaster