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Canada (162,027)
Psychology (1,468)
PSYCH 2AA3 (70)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Textbook readings.docx

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Jennifer Ostovich

Module 4.3: Neural Development The Developing Nervous System Organization of the Mature Brain  The basic unit of the brain and the rest of the nervous system is the neuron, a cell that specializes in receiving and transmitting information  The cell body at the center of the neuron contains the basic biological machinery that keeps the neuron alive  The receiving end of the neuron, the dendrite, looks like a tree with many branches  can receive input from 1000’s of neurons  The slender elongated structure at the other end of the cell body is the axon which sends info to the other neurons  Axon is wrapped in myelin a fatty sheath that allows it to transmit info more rapidly  At end of axon are terminal buttons release neurotransmitters and carry info to nearby neurons  Gap b/w one neuron and the next is called synapse  The wrinkled surface of the brain is cerebral cortex, made up of about 10 billion neurons  consists of right and left halves (hemispheres) which are linked by millions of axons in a thick bundle called corpus callosum  Frontal cortex  your personality and ability to make and carry out plans The Developing Brain  Emerging Brain Structures  At about 3 weeks after conception neural plate forms  @ 4 weeks folds and forms neural tube which eventually becomes brain and spinal cord  Nerve production begins 10 weeks after conception and at 28 weeks, will have all neurons that it will ever have (4000/second)  Brain is built in stages- beginning with innermost layers  Neurons migrate to their final location in the brain by wrapping themselves around supporting cells  In fourth month of prenatal development, axons begin to acquire myelin process continues through infancy to adolescence  Sensory first to get myelin, cortex last  After birth, brain grows rapidly  like a growing tree with roots  Dendrite increase as well as synapses reaching peak number at first birthday  Synapses begin to disappear gradually  synaptic pruning. Synapses that are active are preserved, inactive are eliminated  Pruning completed first for sensory and motor functions followed by language and spatial skills, then attention and planning  Structure and Function  Studies of children with brain damage: if a region of the brain is regulates a particular function, then the damaged region should impair the function
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