Discuss two effects of the environment on physiological processes.
Earlier: believed that brain was only influenced by genes and thus unchangeable
Now we know that environmental enrichment/deprivation can modify brain
- The brain’s ability to rearrange connections between its neurons, to respond/adapt to environment (=experience/learning)
- High levels of stimulation and numerous learning opportunities increase density of neural connections (dendritic branching)
–>Rosenzweig and Benett (1972)
- Rats were place in 2 different environments: enrichment vs. deprivation
- Post-mortem study to investigate brain differences
- Enrichment increased thickness of cortex and weight of frontal lobe.
- Company + stimulation = best
–>Maguire (200) – the taxi driver study
- Alzheimer’s disease: patients responding well to enriching environment
- Cases from deprived environments:
- The Czech twins