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Your selections: Brain Anatomy and Function
Plasticity itself is not unique to humans, but the degree to which our brains are able to adapt is.
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Genes and the environment converge powerfully during early sensitive windows of brain development to form the neural circuits underlying behavior. Although most neuronal cell death occurs in the embryo, the paring down of connections occurs in large part during critical periods in early postnatal life.
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Once the neurons reach their final location, they must make the proper connections so that a particular function, such as vision or hearing, can emerge.
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Neuron formation begins in the earliest stages of human development. Signaling molecules “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others, beginning nerve cell induction.
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From the stands at sports events, we marvel at the actions of athletes. But in fact, each of us in our daily activities performs a host of complex, skilled movements that are just as remarkable.
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Networks of spinal neurons also participate in controlling the alternating action of the legs during normal walking, maintaining posture, and, to a large degree, in all movements.
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Our best insights into how the normal brain ages come from long-term studies of the nervous system that began decades ago.
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Although most of us don’t think of it in this way, the related senses of taste and smell help us interpret the chemical world.
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Touch is the sense by which we determine the characteristics of objects: size, shape, and texture.
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Studies of the body’s own pain-control system demonstrated the existence of naturally occurring opioids — the endorphins.
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Medical science offers us a number of different ways to dull or treat pain.
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Processing information from the sensory systems is one of many functions of the brain. Such information is often the first step in other brain activities, including learning and retaining knowledge.
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