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Chapter 13

PSYB65 - chapter 13.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ted Petit

Chapter 13: Neural Development and Developmental Disorders Neural Development Early Development - Neural plate: forms the ectoderm of the embryo, and is a patch of cells that are on the dorsal surface of the embryo, which eventually becomes the nervous system  The cells of the dorsal ectoderm in the neural plate are stem cells that are pluripotent, meaning they have the potential to develop into different types of nervous system cells  Proliferation: a process where cells of the neural tube within the ventricular zone are rapidly dividing  By day 40 of the embryo, there are 3 prominent bumps on the anterior portion of the neural tube, which eventually form the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain of the CNS  Although development of axons and dendrites occur both prenatally and postnatally, cell differentiation is essentially complete at birth  Problems with any phase of development can lead to significant abnormalities in the CNS  Brain is particularly vulnerable during the last 4-5 months of gestation (origin can be genetic or external)  Craniorachischisis: when the neural tube fails to close (partial closing leads to spina bifida or anencephaly)  Apoptosis: planed/programmed cell death Postnatal Development - Behaviours such as a baby sitting, walking, or speaking are behaviours correlated with the extensive growth in cortical areas of the brain, which increases in volume by 4 times between birth and adulthood. - Critical periods of plastic change in which the environment can have maximal effect on the CNS  Experience-expectant plastic changes: are those CNS changes that are dependent on experiences during the critical period for specific synapses to develop as they should (much of sensory cortex)  Experience-dependent plastic changes: are those idiosyncratic experiences that occur during critical periods that also affect brain development  Neurotrophins: chemicals such as nerve growth factor, that are secreted by the brain that enhance the survival of neurons  Cortical gray matter increase until age 4  White matter volumes increase steadily until 20 years of age  Flechsig hypothesized that myelination corresponds to the emergence of behaviours - Parietal Lobe Development:  Given the number of tactile reflexes present in newborns, somatosensory systems are likely functional at birth, whereas other parietal lobe functions associated with visual perception and spatial ability may take longer to develop o Williams syndrome: a genetic condition in which some of chromosome 7 has been deleted, and individuals have mild to moderate cognitive impairments in visuospatial ability - Occipital Lobe Development:  Newborns do not have underdeveloped visual systems  Competence with visual stimuli may depend on the myelination of the optic tract and requires the optic radiations to become functionally connected with the sensory organs and with other areas of the brain  6 weeks: binocular vision (stable at 6 months) - Temporal Lobe Development:  Linguistic ability: language development requires the ability to perceive sounds, the ability to comprehend the meaning of sounds, and presumably the ability to coordinate the mouth and tongue to produce language sounds o Involves the development of both the frontal and temporal lobes  Hippocampally dependent memory function: the hippocampus attains adult volumes around 7 to 10 months of age, and shows high levels of glucose utilization from birth. - Frontal Lobe Development: areas of the frontal cortex differ in their development at birth  prefrontal cortex is the least developed at birth, reaching adult levels of myelination, glucose utilization, and cell differentiation sometime in the middle to late teen years  motor areas of the frontal lobes mature quickly  head is controlled before arms and trunk, bt arms and trunk are controlled before the legs are (cephalocaudal)  Proximodistal: the obser
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