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The Nature Versus Nurture of Cognitive Development

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The Nature Versus Nurture of Cognitive Development

The brain is the central control for the human body; it receives, organizes, and responds to all stimuli that are detected outside and within the body. However, what makes the human brain superior to all other organisms is its ability to carry out cognitive processes of which less complex organisms are not capable. As Myer states, “cognition refers to all the mental activities associated with thinking, knowing, remembering, and communicating” (176). In order for the brain to achieve the ability of cognition, its development must begin in the prenatal stage of life. The anatomy of the brain, environmental influences, and genetics are crucial factors that influence cognitive development. The brain has been classified not only as the control for physical processes but also the control center of the mind. As neuroscientists continue to make discoveries about how the brain develops and how it works, they have begun to understand the effect the brain has on cognitive development (Meadows 316). The brain is made up of neurons. These neurons are the part of the brain that is responsible for cognition. As Meadows states, “neurons are large as body cells go, with a cell body that has many filaments of tissue protruding from it, called the dendrites. One protrusion is longer that the others, and this is called the axon (328). The brain is composed of a network of neurons made of thousands of fibers that join up with each other to create connections. Signals are sent throughout this network of neurons using electrical impulses. In the overall gross structure of the brain, these neurons are divided into hemispheres and these hemispheres are then subdivided into lobes that carry out different processes. Thus, there are areas of the brain localized to carry out cognitive functions such as thinking, knowing, and remembering.…...

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