Environmental Effects on the Children's Cognitive Development

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Nowadays it is very difficult to open up a current newspaper or a magazine without reading a story about some behavioral characteristics is being linked to a gene that is responsible for it. Aspects of behavior that ones we felt certain that are being controlled by the environment are now being characterized to the effects of the genes. However genes never act alone. The effects of the genes are controlled through the environment. Environment and the genes go hand in hand. Even though genes have a profound effect on children’s lives, environment also has effect on what children do, on what they think about, and on how they think. The term environment includes everything on the planet, social environments, natural environments, social settings, built environments, learning environments, and informational environments (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1982). Interaction with people provides an opportunity for children to learn and perform tasks that they would not be able to do on their own. These environmental effects sometimes may be positive but sometimes they might have negative outcomes on children cognitive abilities. Enriched housing conditions (enriched environment, EE) during development has been shown to influence adult rat behavior and transmitter systems, especially dopamine receptors. (Leggio, Mandolesi,Federico, Spirito, Ricci, Gelfo, F., et al., 2005). Leggio et al (2005) in their experiment have examined the behavioral effects of environmental quality on different levels of spatial function and have looked at the dendritic arborisation (process of branching) and the spine density in a cortical area which plays a role in spatial learning.
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