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How to Be Naughty...in Language Learning

April 17, 2019 by Dr. Shane Dixon

Neuroscience of Play

I have a five-year-old. He is chock-full of energy, excited and curious about everything, and he loves to play. All. Day. Long. From the moment he gets up until the moment he drops into bed at the end of the day, it seems his sole purpose in life is to play. Luckily for my son, it turns out that play is a very good thing for the brain. When you play, the pre-frontal cortex (right behind your eyes and forehead), lights up. Studies demonstrate that engaging in play increases the number of neurons you have, which measurably increases the size of the pre-frontal cortex. In other words, when you play, your brain is literally getting bigger.

The pre-frontal cortex also has a significant role in helping you be a socially aware human. You know, it helps you figure out when your zipper might be down, or warns you when you decide to wear stripes with plaid. It even helps you make judgments about what you want to do or say. Overall, it may be that play...

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