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What happens during fetal period of human development?

There is maturation and refining of organs systems, rapid growth of body.


What happens by the end of the 3rd month of development?

☆ face is normal
☆ eyes moved to Frontal position
☆ ears visible
☆ limbs relative length
☆ developed external genitalia


During the 4th month of development.

Fetus is about 12-13cm

Start of motor function

Corpus collosum is evident and still undergoes growth


During the 5th month of development.

Increased length and motor function

Eyebrows and fingerprints form

Myelin formation in spinal cord


During the 6th month of development.

Cerebellar development


During the 7th month of development.

Sulci and gyri are evident


What happens at the end of the 9th month of development.

Skull has the largest circumference of all parts of the body.


Name the five prenatal brain developmental stages and their main features.

Proliferation - cell production (mitosis)

Gastrulation - production of cells that will become nervous tissue.

Neurulation - formation of neural tube from ectoderm.

Neural migration - location of cells in appropriate brain areas.

Differentiation - development of neurons into particular type.


The weight the brain of a new born is approximately 350g/500g or contributes 10/20% body weight.

350g, 10%


When do the babies reach a adult brain weight?

Between age 6 and 14 yrs


Postnatal growth of the brain is due to?

1. Increase in size of neurons
2. Increased no. Of neuroglia
3. Development of synaptogenesis and circuitry of the brain.
4. Laying down of insulation of nerve processes:Myelination


Define synaptogenesis.

Formation of appropriate synaptic connections.


Define selective cell death.

Elimination of mislocated cells and cells that failed to form the proper synaptic connections.


Define functional validation.

Strengthening of synapses in use, weakening of unused synapses.


Explain neurogenesis.

When new neurons are generated and added to the hippocampus (learning and memory) and olfactory (smell and sense)