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How does the brain develop in a fetus?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
During the first thirty days of pregnancy, the fetus's central nervous system begins to take shape. A long, flat structure develops that forms a groove and rolls up into a tube. One end of the tube starts to swell -- that's the brain. The rest turns into the spinal cord. By eight weeks into pregnancy, a large part of the brain is already formed. Now, the fetus is not doing long division just quite yet, but many parts of the brain are already in place: structures like the thalamus and the cerebral cortex, which are related to memory and learning. During the last few months of pregnancy, the brain grows and thickens and really begins kicking into action.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.