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What organ grows faster in early development, than any other organ?


We can best understand brain growth by looking at it from 2 vantage points.
What are the 2 vantage points?

1. microscopic level of individual brain cells
2. the larger level of the cerebral cortex

Nerve cells that store and transmit info are called...


In the prenatal period, neurons are produced in the embryo's ....

neural tube

Tiny gaps where fibers from different neurons come close together but do not touch are called...
Where are they located?

1. Synapses
2. between neurons

Neurons send messages (communicate) to one another by releasing chemicals called ___, which cross the synapse.


How do new neurons make room for NEW synaptic connections?

surrounding neurons die

Neurons that are seldom stimulated lose their synapses in a process called ...

Synaptic pruning

What does the synaptic pruning process do with the neurons that aren't stimulated?

the pruning process returns the neurons to an uncommitted state so they can support future development

What causes the dramatic increase in brain size during the first 2 years?

Glial cells

Glial cells are responsible for producing a coating of neural fibers with an insulating fatty sheath that improves the efficiency of message transfer. What is the name of the process?


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