Lecture on February 19th: Chapter Five

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
Lori Astheimer Best

Developmental Psychology, Lecture on February 19 , 2013 Chapter Five The Developing Brain, Neurons are nerve cells that are electrochemically designed to transmit messgaes between cells.  The human brain has 100-200 billion neurons How Neurons Build a Brain, Proliferation, increase in number Migration, move to various regions of the brain Differentiation, increase in size, complexity and function Synapses, tiny gaps between neurons and/or cells to pass electrical chemical signals Synaptic pruning, process by which weaker or less active neuron connections are eliminated Glial cells are brain cells that provide a scaffolding for neuron migration and assist in myelin production Myelination, Coating neural fibers with myelin, insulating fatty sheath that improves message transfer. Brain is more myelinated as we age. Prefrontal region is the last to be myelinated and the occipital region is first.  Myelin makes things more efficient Neural plasticity, 1. Experience-expectant is when neurons begin to grow and differentiate rapidly at the time they can be expected to receive stimulation important to other functioning; critical periods of sensitivity 2. Experience-dependent is the sensitivity of neurons to specific events or experiences that occur throughout the life span Brain lateralization is the process by which one hemisphere of the brain comes to dominate the other.  Left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, language, positive emotions and the approach system  Right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, spatial abilities such as logic, maps and directions, negative emotions and withdrawal system Sleep is vastly important and sometimes is overlooked due to litt
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