OCR B6 brain and mind part 4.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Edd
  • Created on: 10-06-12 15:00

When we experience something new, our brain develops a new pathway of neurons and this is how we learn. If we repeat the experience, the pathway becomes stronger which is why humans can develop very complex behaviour and skills.

The learning process.

The human brain consists of billions of neurons. These neurons are connected together to form even more billions of different pathways. Whenever we have a new experience, a new pathway in the brain is used. Each new experience changes our behaviour - this is called learning.

If the experience is repeated, or the stimulus is very strong, more nerve impulses are sent along the new pathway. This reinforces the learning process and explains why repetition helps us to learn new things. Repetition strengthens the connections between neurons and makes it easier for impulses to travel along the pathway.

Skills can also be learned through repetition. For example learning to ride a bike requires practice and repetition to learn a new set of skills.

A gymnast has exactly the same sets of muscles as the rest of us. The difference is that they have repeated and practised the complex movements so many times that their brain and body have learned a new set of skills.

Why humans learn.

Learning is important to an animal's survival. It enables the animal to adapt and survive in new situations. Human babies learn not to touch hot objects, for instance. This helps the baby to survive.

Learning language - Higher tier.

The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain responsible for intelligence, language, memory and consciousness.

Scientists have used different methods to find out which parts of the cerebral cortex do different jobs. These include:

  • Studying brain damage.

    Scientists can learn which parts of the brain are responsible for doing different jobs.

  • Electrical stimulation.

    Scientists have stimulated different parts of the brain with a weak electrical current and then asked patients to describe what…




really good notes and very helpful for last minute revision

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Cells, tissues and organs resources »