In anticipation of the lecture on the Brain in Greg’s undergraduate Human Evolution class next week, I have compiled a bunch of fun links to learn about brain structure and function. Please suggest a link to your educational blog or a brain school website that I perhaps haven’t included on the list!
A brief bio of the brain: From Infancy to Adolescence
The infant brain is a highly plastic organ. There is an initial overproduction of nerve cells in the brain. These nerve cells must go through significant periods of pruning and connectivity before the brain can become functional. It is largely the influence of experience that dictates which nerve cells are kept and which are pruned. Unlike other cells of the body, nerve cells are terminally differentiated, which means that they are rarely replaced. Thus, it is very important that we are careful with the nerve cells that we are born with. Make sure you protect your brain: Wear a bike-helmet, eat healthy foods, get sufficient sleep.
By the time the brain is in its second decade of life, it has reached its full size. But the brain still has a fair bit to do. The teenage years represent a very important time of maturation in brain connectivity. Adolescence is a huge period of change and growth. The still maturing prefrontal cortex is undergoing a major step in the formation of morality, self control. forethought and abstract thinking. The developing teenage brain may face many challenges, from the establishment of identity and facing the adversity of social pressures, to the risks of schizophrenia and other brain disorders. An understanding of the brain, it’s origins, it’s development, it’s connections to the rest of the body, it’s role in social discourse and it’s cultural influences can all greatly contribute to an understanding of Homo sapiens sapiens.
BRAIN SCHOOL FOR KIDS (GROWN UP KIDS INCLUDED!)
BRAIN SCHOOL FOR ADULTS
Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychoanalysis
News from the Neurosciences
All in the Mind
How your brain works
Brain Imaging Basics
A cup of Neuropsychology?
Alleydog (for Psychology Students)
Martindale’s Brain and NeuroCenter
Internet Handbook of neurology
National Institute of Mental Health
Brain, The world inside your head