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Developmental Psychology on Brain Development - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 70
Brain development(Developmental psychology/Upton: between the ages of two and five years the changes that occur in the brain enable children to plan their actions, pay greater attention to tasks and increase their language skills. The brain does not grow as rapidly during this time period as it did in infancy, but there are still some dramatic anatomical changes that take place (Thompson et al., 2000)(1).
During early childhood, children’s brains show rapid growth in the prefrontal cortex in particular. The prefrontal cortex is an area of the frontal lobes that is known to be involved in two very important activities: planning and organising new actions, and maintaining attention to tasks (Blumenthal et al., 1999)(2).
Other important changes include an increase in myelination of the cells in the brain. This myelination speeds up the rate at which information travels through the nervous system (Meier et al., 2004)(3). E.g.myelination of the area of the brain that controls hand–eye coordination is not completed until around four years of age. Brain-imaging studies have shown that children with lower rates of myelination in this area of the brain at four years of age show poorer hand–eye coordination than their peers (Pujol et al., 2004)(4).
Upton I 71
Language/right hemisphere: Handedness has traditionally been thought to have a strong link to brain organisation. Paul Pierre Broca first described language regions in the left hemisphere of right-handers in the nineteenth century and, from then on, it was accepted that the reverse, that is, right-hemisphere language dominance, should be true of left-handers (Knecht et al., 2000)(5). However, in reality the left-hand side of the brain dominates in language processing for most people: around 95 per cent of right-handers process speech predominantly in the left hemisphere (Springer and Deutsch, 1985)(6), as do more than 50 per cent of left-handers (Knecht et al., 2000)(5). According to Knecht et al., left-handedness is neither a precondition nor a necessary consequence of right-hemisphere language dominance (Knecht et al., 2000(5), p. 2517).



1. Thompson, P.M., Giedd, J. N., Woods, R. P., MacDonald D. Evans, A. C. & Toga, A. W. 2000. Growth patterns in the developing brain detected by using continuum mechanical tensor maps. Nature, 404, 190-3.
2. Blumenthal, J. A., Babyak M. A., Moore, K.A., Craighead, W.E:, Herman, S. Khatri, P., Waugh, R, Napolitano, M.A., Forman, L.M., Appelbaum, M., Doraiswamy, P.M. & Krishnan, K.R. 1999. Effects of exercise training on older patients with major depression, Archives of internal Medicine, 159: 2349-56.
3. Meier, B.P. and Hinsz, V.B. (2004) A comparison of human aggression committed by groups and individuals: an interindividual-intergroup discontinuity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40: 551–59.
4. Pujol,J, López-Sala, A., Sebastiá-Gallés, N, Deus, J, Cardoner, N., Soriano-Mas, C, Moreno, A. and Sans, A. (2004) Delayed myelination in children with developmental delay detected by volumetric MRI. NeuroImage, 22 (2): 897–903.
5. Knecht, S., Dräger, B., Deppe, M., Bobe, L. and Lohmann, H. (2000) Handedness and hemispheric language dominance in healthy humans. Brain, 123(12): 2512–18.
6. Springer, S.P. and Deutsch, G. (1985) Left Brain, Right Brain. New York: W.H. Freeman.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Developmental Psychology
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011


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