It seems like the media is obsessed with brain development, learning, polyvagal theory- all the new and
“improved” ways to boost brain power. I like this geeky stuff and I have a hard time
keeping up.

Reasons We Think and Act

Let me see if I can shed some light on a few potential reasons children think what
they think and do what they do. This also includes adults with our more complete brains and
polyvagal system. The polyvagal bundle and brain state have a lot to do with emotions and
behavior. In the conversation attached to this blog, I talk about brain states and offer strategies
for calming the brain, how the polyvagal system regulates brain and body responses and plays a
role in the brain-gut connection.

Fun Polyvagal Facts

Intrigued yet?! Let me throw out more fun facts. It’s easiest if we divide the brain into three parts-
the brainstem, limbic midbrain, and frontal lobe. Did you know that human brains are “slow
growers”? The frontal lobe (reasoning, problem solving, judgement) isn’t fully developed until we
are around 25 years old. This explains a child’s impulsive behavior. Kids have “baby brains” that
are learning quickly but can’t do what adults can do.

Applying Polyvagal Knowledge

If I haven’t hooked you yet, listen to this podcast which I did with Reimagine Childhood and find out what to do with all this newfound
brain and polyvagal knowledge.

 

This is the “So what! Now what!” practical application. Since
approximately 80% of sensory information goes from the body to the brain and approximately 20% of the information goes from the brain to the body, it’s nice to know what’s happening
outside of your awareness. For example, when you enter a new situation and then get a pain in
the gut area, you may want to turn around and leave. However, give yourself a minute or two, the
polyvagal system puts the “break” on the urge to run away and provides “gas” to your brain to tell
your hand to reach out for a handshake. The polyvagal system is a regulatory system that looks
like a bundle of long “neural wires” (think extension cord) that connects and regulates important
organs like the heart, kidneys, liver, etc. and the brain.

More Information

I hope you enjoy the podcast and experience an alert Green brain state while listening. Got questons? Need support? My brain is in the green and my calendar has openings!

Dr Pam Rinn, PhD Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

 

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