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New Research Confirmed That Children Learn New Information And Skills Much More Quickly Than Adults 

Brocreative - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Have you ever looked at an elementary school-aged child– whether that be your own kid, a niece or nephew, or a family friend– and wondered how they are so smart?

More specifically, how was the child able to pick up and retain brand new information– such as mathematic times tables or scientific principles– so darn quickly?

Well, according to a collaborative new study conducted by researchers at Brown University and the University of Regensburg in Germany, this hunch has been confirmed via neuroimaging.

Children are not exactly “smarter,” though; they just pick up on new information and hone skills much more quickly than adults do.

The scientists came to this conclusion by looking at gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)– an amino acid that stabilizes freshly learned material– among both adults and elementary school-aged children.

And even though this idea that children learn “better” than adults had been voiced in the past, the researchers hoped to find concrete evidence as opposed to prior lackluster studies.

“It is often assumed that children learn more efficiently than adults, although the scientific support for this assumption has, at best, been weak, and, if it is true, the neuronal mechanisms responsible for more efficient learning in children are unclear,” said Takeo Watanabe, one of the study’s authors.

So, the team primarily focused on how GABA levels fluctuate at different points in the learning process– before, during, and afterward– using both behavioral and neuroimaging techniques. These results in children were also contrasted against those in adults.

The researchers ultimately found that visual learning prompted an increase of GABA in the visual cortex of children– the brain region responsible for processing visual information.

Brocreative – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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