Experiential, Genetic and Epigenetic Effects on Neurocognitive Development
(3/9/2011) 79 minutes


?For several years we have employed psychophysics, electrophysiological (ERP) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to study the development and plasticity of the human brain. We have studied deaf and blind individuals, people who learned their first or second spoken or signed language at different ages, and children of different ages and of different cognitive capabilities. Over the course of this research, we observed that different brain systems and related functions display markedly different degrees, or 'profiles', of neuroplasticity. Some systems appear quite strongly determined and are not altered even when experience has been very different. Other systems are highly modifiable by experience and are dependent on experience but only during particular time periods ("sensitive periods").

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