Flashcards in Brain Development From Infancy Through Adolescence Deck (16):
What is plasticity?
Refers to the way the brain changes in response to stimulation from the environment. It occurs at the synaptic connections in the brain. Plasticity is necessary for learning to take place and is present throughout a healthy person's lifetime.
What is developmental plasticity?
The development and consolidation of neural pathways in babies, children and adolescents
What is adaptive plasticity?
The ability of the brain to change, adapt and grow throughout life
What re the 5 stages of development?
- circuit formation
- synaptic pruning
What is proliferation?
Process where an unborn baby's cells become neurons, divide and multiply, creating approximately 250000 cells per minute.
What occurs during migration?
Newly formed neurone may move outward to their destined location. The role of a particular neuron may be determined by its location at the time of formation.
What occurs during circuit formation?
Occurs when the axons of new neurons from out to target cells and form synapses with them. This process of forming new synapses is called synaptogenesis.
What does synaptic pruning involve?
Involves the elimination of excess neurons and synapses; that is, those that haven't established a connection with a neighbouring cell will die. Pruning will occur during infancy and childhood but there's a second wave of pruning during adolescence. During this entire process the brain will produce many more neurons then will eliminate excess by pruning.
What is myelination?
A process where the axons of neurons in the child's brain become insulated by the myelin, is the final stage before the brain becomes fully mature. Myelin action begins before a baby is born and finishes at the age of 23.
Why is it better for a child to learn an instrument now rather than as an adult?
As a child's brain has grater plasticity than an adults, it is able yo use other parts of the brain to form alternative neural connections. A child's brain is also able to compensate for any missing or damaged part of the brain as a result of this plasticity.
What areas of the brain experience large amounts of development during adolescence?
- Cerebellum: increase in amount of neurons and synapses in the cerebellum, the art of the brain responsible for balance, muscle tone and the performance of motor skills
- amygdala: becomes more active in adolescence
- corpus callosum: thickens and increase in amount of connections between the two hemispheres
- frontal lobe: improves motor movement and higher order thinking
What develops in the frontal lobe?
The frontal lobe is the last part of the brain to undergo myelination. Much development will occur during puberty.
During early adolescence, there's a second burst of production of cortical grey matter. Cortical grey matter is:
The covering of the cerebral hemispheres
What is the last area of the brain to develop?
The prefrontal cortex, responsible for complex planning, solving, impulse control, risk management and critical thinking. As the prefrontal cortex develops, the adolescent brain may depend on the amygdala, a part of the limbic system which plays an important role in processing our emotions. Hyper-emotional states we might experience and bad decisions we make during our teenage years may be attributed to our brain relying on the amygdala rather than the prefrontal cortex.
What are sensitive periods?
Periods in time which are particularly suited to learning things due to the nature of the growing brain, (they are the best or optimum time for a developing individual to learn specific things).
For example, infants have to be exposed to language in first year of life to allow them to use and understand language.