To what extent can cognitive development be understood in terms of specialisation of function in specific structures of the brain? INTRODUCTION
In relation to what extent cognitive development can be understood in terms of specialisation of specific structures of the brain, this assignment will observe and use developmental cognitive neuropsychology which explains and seeks to understand a functional relationship between the human brain and its function. In this assignment I will produce two contrasting theories within regards to the functional specialisation, I will accomplish this with study and analysis while debating which brain functions contest and develop by exploring specific key concepts of brain development such as contesting influences that the environment may have upon a maturing brain. Throughout this essay not only will I be discussing concepts of brain development but I will also briefly present the function of language and that it is reliant upon specific structures “Cortical” and whether a pre-specified “particular region” of the brain may have a role in supporting cognitive functions and finally in-turn by using evidence based research within relation to the pre-frontal cortex I will conclude this assignment.
In order to explain specialisation of function development of the brain, I will now associate functional specialisation and structural differentiation. There are particular cognitive functions and specific cortical areas in a typical “adult” brain, yet a developing brain (Prior to maturity) demonstrates constant increasing differences in structure and the function of cells which directly affects functional capacity due to structural changes. Mareschal, D. et al(2006). Specialised functions and particular types of information are a result in cortical areas highly efficient of the structural differention processes of neural pathways of dendritic growth and myelination. As reasons are unclear in the organisation of the human brain there are many theory’s trying to explore and explain cortical areas and its relationship with corresponding functions. One theory suggests that the brain is configured into Cognitive modules “Functional units” which particular functions process particular information and are highly specialised to support language functions. Mareschal, D. et al(2006). Epigenesis (Development by means of interaction between genes and their environment) Mareschal, D. et al(2006)pp116, or genetically determined modules, have a significant dissent regarding the means of development where brain domain “specific” modules occur and largely focuses on cognitive development which the theories of Foder (1983) & Karmiloff-Smith (1992) can be taken in to account and explored. A hypothesis of cognitive development is presented by Fodor (1983) cited in Mareschal, D. et al(2006). Which offers a “Domain-specific” viewpoint which Fodor(1983) determines as modularity, which functional specialisation and genetically determined “cognitive” modules are crucial in brain development. Perceptual input systems are the main focus point of Fodor’s theory. Foder’s theory shows that information taken from transducers “Stimulation” will deliver to input systems as modules and that specialised processing is where cognition begins. He also states that a single module is domain-specific, each individual module processing only one type of information. By working independently “encapsulation” of one another input systems are rapid and lastly and Foder believes development is not environment interaction but maturation of the brain, linked specific regions acquired with cognitive abilities. Foder(1983) as cited in Mareschal, D. et al(2006). Karmiloff-Smith (1992) believes that an epigenetic theory (Modularisation) and that genes and environment are a product that causes cognitive modules to develop supporting specific information processing as ordered connection patterns through environmental...
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