TB3 Lecture 2 Brain Development

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  • Created by: mint75
  • Created on: 25-04-15 19:01

1. What is a teratogen?

  • Substances that exert an adverse influence on development e.g drugs, smoking, disease and maternal stress
  • Substances that exert a positive influence on development e.g enriched environment, nutrition and exercise
  • A chemical imbalance in the pregnant body which goes on to affect the infant
  • A genetic mutation in the mother which causes future disabilitys and birth complications in the infant
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2. What does the process of myelinisation do/improve?

  • Produces nerve cells at a rate of 250,000pm
  • Insulates the cell and improves synaptogenesis (cell communication)
  • Allows cells to acquire specialised functions
  • Adds to the weight of the total brain

3. What is the role of the limbic system?

  • Processing auditory and visual stimuli
  • Regulating emotions and frontal lobes for advanced cognitive functioning
  • Reflexes and responses to stress
  • Abstract thought

4. What effects does the environment have on the prenatal brain?

  • The PN brain is sensitive to negative and positive influences, with cortical thickness differing according to the environment
  • The PN brain is especially sensitive to negative environmental influences affecting cortical thickness
  • The PN brain is especially sensitive to positive environmental influences affecting cortical thickness
  • The environment has not shown to have an effect on the PN brain

5. What is the darwinian reflex?

  • When a baby is held with their feet barely touching a surface, they will make stepping motions
  • When the palm of a babies hand is stroked, they make a strong fist and can be raised to standing if grasped
  • When a baby is dropped/hears a loud noise, they extend limbs and fingers whilst drawing their head back as a protective reflex
  • When a baby will grab anything that comes in close proximity to their face, a protective reflex


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