June 5, 2014
Essay #1 Brain & Research
The first video I watched was titled "The Plastic Brain - Specific Topics." During prenatal development the brain increases six times in size, a fact that I found interesting. Another amazing fact I came across was that the brain continues to grow even after birth. As one ages, the brain develops certain skills that are acquired with this age. For example, at age 10 the brain is able to practice behaviors better to do tasks like reading. At age 15 the limbic system is enhanced to better control emotions. The brain continues to develop until about age 80, where it atrophies. Lastly, new neurons are formed at about 250,000 per minute. Neurogenesis is responsible for the formation of these new neurons. I found this fact interesting because I did not know that the brain was able to create neurons at such an alarming rate! Related to the topic of the clip, I would like to test out what parts of the brain contribute to brain atrophy.
My hypothesis would involve testing different parts of the brain, but ultimately I would be testing for the responses of the cerebrum. The cerebrum controls voluntary processes, i.e. thinking, so I would base the majority of my research testing on this part of the brain.
The second video I watched was called "The Pre-Frontal Cortex: The Good, the Bad, and the Criminal Thinking Like a Psychologist." The first fact I found interesting was that the brains of violent people like criminals and murderers differ from the brains of the rest of the population. This would explain why someone seemingly normal would lash out and cause harm onto other people. Secondly, murderers have lower levels of activity of the prefrontal cortex. The...