Brain & Neurosensory Development Experiences in the NICU...Shaping Neurologic & Emotional Development

In a term pregnancy, the critical phases of brain, sensory and limbic system development are occurring in a protective environment. There is increasing evidence revealing sensory integration issues, anxiety, behavioral and executive function concerns into young adulthood due to extreme prematurity. A thorough understanding of when these systems develop is critical for us as healthcare teams as it can form the foundation for our care. In this presentation we will build our knowledge of the brain, sensory and limbic system development. With this knowledge we can better shape our actions and provide more meaningful experiences as the patients we care for are reliant upon each of us.


  1. Discuss 2 implications of the fetus’s in-utero sensory experience
  2. Explain the concepts of experience expectant & experience dependent development
  3. Describe the importance of the critical period for the developing sensory system
  4. Explain 1 purpose of each component of the Limbic system

Total CE 1.6

NCC Code NNP 2 or 7

NCC Code NIC 2 or 7

NCC Code LRN 2 or 7

Rx: 0

*This presentation was included in the Small Baby Care Specialist® Program

Last updated: October, 2021

Your Instructor

Liz Drake
Liz Drake

Liz Drake has been practicing in the NICU for 34 years. She received her Master’s Degree, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist certification from UCLA. Quality Improvement, Neuro-protective Care and Family Partnered Care are her passions and expertise. She has a strong desire to teach the healthcare team about the uniqueness and language of the premature infant as every touch and experience can have impact. Through team building, education, academic thinking and direct patient care Liz has a tireless focus on excellence. Her vision for the future is to create passion and desire in others to practice with intention, purpose and to practically integrate evidence into the care provided to infants and families. Liz is a driver for quality improvement initiatives and actively involved with the VON, NICQ Collaborative.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts as soon as you enroll. You will have access to this course (videos) for two months. Please be sure to download lecture handouts for ongoing access to the content presented. You must complete and submit the Evaluation at the end of the course to receive CE.
How can I communicate any questions, comments, or feedback?
We would love to hear from you. Please e-mail us at: [email protected]

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