• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Adult brains show localized functions, for example with speech processes being concentrated in areas in the left hemisphere and with executive functions concentrated in the pre-frontal cortex. How does this organization come about? Is it because these fu

Extracts from this document...


Adult brains show localized functions, for example with speech processes being concentrated in areas in the left hemisphere and with executive functions concentrated in the pre-frontal cortex. How does this organization come about? Is it because these functions are localized from birth? Brain processing has been in scientists' focus for many decades. As much as they have learned about brain and its functioning through studies and experiments it still does not answer all the questions. With the help of modern technology such as brain imaging, MRI and other, we are now able to understand much more about brain functions. But some questions at the heart of all the brain functioning still remain and research continues into exploring the links of cognitive functioning of the cortex. I would like to focus on two different approaches that attempt to .explain the localized functioning in the brain, the innate modularity and modularization, and how this organization is believed to have come about. Cognitive development of the brain starts in the pre-natal phase when the brain development may be affected by the environment which is rather limited. Therefore the post-natal period of the brain development is considered more important. Human brain is designed to mostly develop after the birth and most of the brain maturation happens then. The distribution and multiplying of neurons in the brain peaks at about 24 months after the birth. ...read more.


And it surely can be applied in pre-natal period of the brain development. However the evidence gathered through modern technology shows that the most important neural activity happening in the brain after the birth is the main factor influencing the development of the brain. As supported by Petersen et al. (1990) and their experiment using PET scan and test of English words with native and foreign speakers which showed that particular part of cortex in native speakers responded to English words. This suggests that the exposure to same environment led to the development of a particular processing area in the cortex of their left hemisphere to process English language. The results of this experiment support the 'modularization' theory. (Mareschal et al., 2004, p. 130) As much as modern technology helps to find evidence, some forms of it may not be suitable for young children as their affects on children's health are not known and may be harmful. Future possibilities of open scans may allow for more research in this area. Karmiloff-Smith (1992) also introduces the theory of self-organizing system based on the ability of the brain to organize information into structures when exposed to a particular environment. Based on the theory of Hebb (1949) which states that in order for the localized functions to work simultaneously and being able to create particular pathways an important rule of repetition comes into place. ...read more.


This changes as the functions in the cortex are further specialized and localized and the role of pre-frontal cortex decreases. Evidence here presented shows that the nativist viewpoint is supported to certain extent by cognitive neuroscience but is outweighed by evidence of plasticity and the ability of other regions of the brain taking over the damaged areas in early development if needed without need of 'pre-specification'. This shows that in typical or atypical development that may be caused by localized damage to the brain seems to be the a product of development supporting the theory of 'modularization'. [Kate1] Bridging the gap between physical structure of the brain and its function proves to be a major challenge. It is certainly difficult to prove which of the two theories is right as it shows that both of them seems to be correct in particular aspects of the research and different evidence supports both of them. Although some of the evidence points in favour of innate modularity theory more of the evidence suggests that modularization theory is more at place. It is still argued between these two theories whether the functioning of the brain is innate and 'pre-fabricated' from birth or whether the environment plays important role in the development of localized functioning. Evidence presented in this essay clearly indicates that modularization is supported more than innate modularity. Even with the help of modern technology scientist are still unable to specify which of the theories may be more or less correct and the ongoing argument is so yet to be settled. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Developmental Psychology essays

  1. To what extent does a nativist perspective successfully explain childrens early language development?

    The language learner needs an innate knowledge of the rules of language made available by Universal Grammar. Pinker (1989) found that children make over-generalization of dative alterations just like they over-regularize word endings. Brown and Hanlon argued parents do not correct grammatical errors of children systematically fashion.

  2. Self-Report Measurement of Adult Attachment: An Integrative Overview.

    Sexuality was postulated by Shaver, Hazan, and Bradshaw (1988) to be one of three behavioral systems combined to form romantic love (along with attachment and caregiving). Except for a seminal study by Hazan, Zeifman, and Middleton (1994), however, sexuality has not been closely linked empirically with attachment patterns. The touch and sexuality measures used in the present study allowed

  1. A qualitative study exploring how adult perceptions of significant others in their lives have ...

    Similarly, Hazan and Shaver's 'love quiz' examined attachment in adults using SST classification finding participants self-reports describing parent-child relationships extended to adult attachment type (AAT) (as cited in Wood et al., 2002, p.25). With stable childhood, SST may predict AAT but in less stable developmental pathways life events are important

  2. To what extent can cognitive development be understood in terms of the specialisation of ...

    These specialised pathways lead to organised connection patterns that turn into structured behaviours. Hebb (1949) an influential neurophysiologist attempted to link psychological processes to properties of nerve cells. His work on self-organisation created what is generally referred to as the 'Hebb Rule'.

  1. Memory levels of processing

    processed to and opposing this is "Visuo-spatial Sketchpad" which hold visual information. In relation to the investigation of whether words are recalled better if they rhyme or are meaning based they would have to go through the process of the phonological loop.

  2. Since Brocas 1861 discovery, the left and right cerebral hemispheres have been characterised as ...

    In split brain patients those whose hemispheres have been separated by commissurotomy, the left hemisphere seems to control most everyday activity. However in control patients the right hemisphere takes a more active role in controlling behaviour. A commissurotomy operation has been used on patients with epilepsy and those with conditions like partial seizures which involved the separating of the hemisphere.

  1. A comparative, semi structured interview from two female participants, and how their age gap ...

    Other Themes Pride and shame Rosenberg found that older children were more likely to use interpersonal traits such as friendly or shy, unlike younger children. The below shows both participants used interpersonal traits. Annie [18.23] That I?m a kind person and if you got to know me, you?d like me, probably.

  2. An investigation of self description and the locus of self-knowledge: a comparison study based ...

    The interviewers had no prior knowledge about the participants. Participants willingly agreed to take part in the study. Parental consents were obtained from the parents of the children in the study. The interviews were carried out in the children's schools during the school day. Present in the interviewing room were also the sound recordist and the producer.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work