By Donald J. Cohen, Dante Cicchetti

ISBN-10: 0470048190

ISBN-13: 9780470048191

ISBN-10: 047123737X

ISBN-13: 9780471237372

This quantity applies a number of degrees of research to neurobiological developmental association, and functioning in normality and psychopathology. It additionally covers issues relevant to a developmental viewpoint on neuroscience.

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Thus, it is becoming quite clear that under certain conditions at least some regions of the brain can incorporate the signature of experience into the structure, function, and organization of the brain. The process of neural plasticity is influenced by a number of neurotransmitters and growth factors. These growth factors, including nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor, stimulate a variety of cellular effects at the structural and functional levels that eventuate in the promotion of survival and differentiation of responsive neurons.

Commentators on the aforementioned body of work reasoned that if subjects were tested at a time when the substrate for a particular function had not yet developed, then the function would appear to have been compensated when, in fact, it had never been lost (Isaacson, 1975). Depending on the location of the lesion and the precise timing of the injury, the developing brain can suffer from far more neuronal degeneration than that evidenced in the mature brain. For example, excessive amounts of excitatory amino acids, such as glutamate, produce much more severe lesions in the immature brain than in the adult brain.

The emerging evidence increasingly points to abnormal regulation of brain growth in Autism, with pathological deviation from normative mechanisms underlying the typical progression through neurogenesis and synaptogenesis, followed by axon pruning and synapse elimination. Despite the wide range of theoretical formulations and the relative paucity of consistent data pointing to a common underlying neurobiological “cause” of Autism, the study of this disorder provides an excellent example of the increasingly important role played by neuroscience in examining the potential biological contributors to a developmental disorder.

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Developmental Neuroscience by Donald J. Cohen, Dante Cicchetti


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