Essay: Child development-Effect of environment on neural plasticity
A normal baby is usually born with a fully-fledged brain but its limbic forebrain remains plastic or experience-expectant. This implies that the section of the brain dependent on other external factors to develop in the desired fashion. A total of nine limbic sections which include the hippocampus, hypothalamus, cingulate, septal nucleus, and the amygdale are believed to serve in satisfying thirst and hunger and also engaged in expressing emotions such as fear, joy, pleasure, rage and emotional contact deemed social (Heather, 2005, p. 47). For them to develop normally in newborns, sections, hippocampus, septal nuclei and amygdala plus another delicate section called the neocortex call for different environmental stimulations.
These stimulations could be perceptual, cognitive social or even emotional. If not well stimulated, development of thousands of the neurons will be jeopardized leading to abnormal interconnections between neurons eventually causing redundancy. These nervous connections may end up dying or withering out faster and almost completely. It is by proper development of these brain elements that a child develops normal memory, learning, personality, and cognitive skills. If brought up in an antisocial environment, there are high chances that the limbic nuclei will atropy followed by subsequent establishment of random interconnections. Presynaptic vesicles are lost in the process further encouraging equal losses of the glia, axons, interneurones, and neurons among other sub parts of the brain. Dull environmental conditions do encourage more decrease of synapses per axion and a continuation of this cause massive loss of synapses in each brain to a tune of billions if not trillions of synapses (Griffiths, 2007, p. 54)).
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