Neurons that are stimulated together form connections and these connections develop into networks of interconnected neurons. These networks are developed and reinforced in a “use-dependent” fashion. The repeated stimulation of neural networks through similar experiences reinforces or strengthens them. When neural connections are not reinforced, they “die” off or “fade away”. This process takes place in early childhood and the networks that are strengthened are based on the sorts of repeated experiences the child has (e.g., if a child has frequent positive interactions, their brain will become ‘wired’ to perceive, interpret, and respond to positive interactions).
Consistent caregiving is one of the key forms of repetitive experiences available for very young children. Stimulation through repetitive experiences, such as, listening to their mother’s heartbeat, rocking, caregiving routines, and hearing soothing sounds, all build neural networks.