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More experience = Bigger Brain? By Caroline Filko and Haley Stone.

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1 More experience = Bigger Brain? By Caroline Filko and Haley Stone

2 Do certain experiences produce physical changes in the brain? Background  1785, Malacarne, an Italian anatomist discovered that the brains of the animals that were trained appeared more complex.  Late 19 th century, a study surfaced to relate the circumference of the human head with the amount of learning a person had experienced. Disapproved by later research.

3  12 sets of three male rats were chosen from the same litter and designated to one of three types of conditions: Experimental Method  Impoverished Environment (smaller cage, one isolated rat)  Control Group (standard cage, multiple rats)  Enriched Environment (large cage, objects to play with, multiple rats)

4  Denser Cerebral Cortex was found in the enriched rats. Was heavier, thicker, and possessed larger neurons.  Greater overall chemical activity of acetyl cholinesterase and the ratio of RNA and DNA  Bigger Synapses were found in the enriched rats by 50% Conclusion: Brain anatomy and brain chemistry are changed by experience. Results Enriched rats were vastly different from the impoverished rats!

5  Different handling of rats  responded by handling one litter daily, and not the other. Results remained the same.  Stress effects  other research that exposed rats to stress cited with no changes in brain development.  Artificial environment  used wild deer mice as subjects. Proved that a natural environment is more beneficial.  Relationship to human subjects  research allows scientists to test concepts that may later prove useful to human subjects. Criticism

6  Study of memory  new techniques for improving memory and preventing memory loss  Relationship between malnutrition and intelligence  theories developed about how malnutrition maybe reduced or enhanced by environmental enrichment or deprivation. Significance of the Study

7  People unable to have certain experiences will possesses a less developed brain region.  Applied to the process of human intellectual development. “ …I found that the people who use their brains don’t lose them. It was that simple.” by Marian Diamond  Effects on CHS student development?  Study by Ian Sneddon on pigs with operant tasks and rewards. Reapproved the idea of cognitive development based on an enriched environment.  “Mozart Effect” children become better learners when listening to Mozart. Claimed as a fad of pop psychology. Recent Applications

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