Investigations into the effect of nature and nurture on brain development

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  • Grey Matter: 8.18 Brain Development-Investigating effects of nature and nurture
    • New-born Studies
      • The brain of new born not really affected by environment
      • Scientists study brains of newborns to see what functions they are born with, can see how developed different parts are
      • Looks at nature side of development as what babies are born with is more likely due to nature than nurture
    • Animal Experiments
      • Animals of same species have similar genetics so differences in brain development likely to be due to nurture
        • Scientists study effects of different environments on brain development of animals of the same species
      • Scientists study effects of diifferent genes through genetically altered animals-animals with and without a specific gene due to genetic engineering, can be studied in similar environments
        • Genetically altered animals that show differences in brain development will likely show differences due to nature over nurture
    • Brain Damage Studies
      • Damage to adult's brain can lead to loss of brain function-if adults brain is damaged it can't repair itself so well because it's already fully developed
      • Children's brains are still developing so scientists can study the effect of damage on the development of their brains by comparing the development of chosen functions to brains without damage
      • If the selected characteristic still develops in those with damage, it is more likely to be due to nurture and if the characteristic does not develop in those with damage then it is likely to be due to nature
    • Twin Studies
      • Identical twins raised separately will have identical genes but different environments
      • Scientists can compare the brain development of the sepereted twins-any difference are due to nurture, any similarites are due to nature
      • Scientists can use this comparison to show relative contribution of environmental and genetic factors to brain development
    • Cross-Cultural Studies
      • Children brought up in different culturesa have diffenrte environmental influences
      • Scientists can study the effect of different upbringings on brain development by comparing larde groups of children who are the same age but from diffrent cultures
      • Scientists look for major differences in characteristics-any differences in brain development between cultures are more likely to be due to nurture than nature, any similarities are likely to be due to nature than nurture

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