Lecture 5

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43 Questions

What is the main focus of Week 5 in the course?

Development of the Nervous System; Brain Injury & Plasticity

What does the course emphasize about neurodevelopment?

The brain develops throughout lifetime experience is key

What is the equation for forming a zygote?

Ovum + Sperm = Zygote

What are the aims of the course regarding adult plasticity?

To discuss neural reorganization and the potential and limits of recovery of function after brain damage

What technique provided relief to the amputee with chronic phantom limb pain?

Visual feedback using a mirror box

Where can one find information about the development of the nervous system and brain damage?

In the chapters 9 and 10 of 'Biopsychology' by Pinel

Where can one watch Siddharthan Chandran's TED talk about brain repair?

Which process fills the space left after apoptosis in the brain?

Sprouting axon terminals of surviving neurons

What is a consequence of overproduction of synapses in the young brain?

Greater plasticity

Which brain region is involved in working memory and inhibiting inappropriate actions?

Prefrontal cortex

What shapes vocal output in birdsong via sensorimotor learning?

Sensory experience

What happens to the song of deafened birds after the sensitive period?

It becomes abnormal

What results from early visual deprivation in the primary visual cortex?

Fewer synapses and dendritic spines

What regulates the expression of genes directing the synthesis of CAMs?

Neural activity

What can promote neurogenesis in adult mammals?

Enriched environments and exercise

What is a consequence of neurons failing to establish correct connections?

They are particularly likely to die

What is postnatal growth in the brain a consequence of?

Synaptogenesis and myelination

What is involved in bird song development stages?

Sensitive period, subsong period, and song crystallization

What happens to the song of deafened birds after the crystallized song?

It remains normal

Which of the following is a main neuroplastic response to nervous system damage?


What is a common cause of brain damage and neurological diseases mentioned in the text?

Closed-head injuries

Which cells promote neural regeneration in the peripheral nervous system?

Schwann cells

What is virtually nonexistent in the central nervous system (CNS) of adult mammals?


What promotes recovery of function after brain damage according to the text?

Adult neurogenesis and cognitive reserve

What has shown potential in promoting recovery after brain damage according to the text?

Neurotransplantation, neuroprotective molecules, and rehabilitative training

What is a common way to study responses to neuronal damage mentioned in the text?

Cutting axons (axotomy)

What has been observed in laboratory animals following damage to peripheral nerves and primary cortical areas according to the text?

Reorganization of primary sensory and motor systems

What do brain-imaging studies indicate according to the text?

Continuous competition for cortical space by functional circuits

What is thought to play important roles in recovery of function after brain damage according to the text?

Adult neurogenesis and cognitive reserve

What have been correlated with resistance or recovery from neurological injury and disease according to the text?

Cognitive and physical exercise

What is unlikely, but possible, in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) according to the text?


What is the first phase of neurodevelopment?

Induction of the neural plate

What is the basis for the future peripheral nervous system?

Neural crest

What is the role of cell-adhesion molecules and gap junctions in neurodevelopment?

Aid in migration and aggregation

What is the main function of neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor (NGF)?

Promote growth and survival

What is the mechanism underlying axonal growth according to the chemoaffinity hypothesis?

Chemical signals

What happens approximately 50 days after conception in the central nervous system (CNS) development?

Tissue recognizable as a fluid-filled tube

What is the fate of approximately 50 percent of the neurons produced during neurodevelopment?

Undergo apoptosis

What guides the migration of neural tube cells?

Chemical signals and glial cells

What is the earliest type of cells in neurodevelopment?


What is the basis for the future spinal cord and brain?

Neural tube

What is the main factor promoting synapse formation?

Chemical signal exchange between pre- and postsynaptic neurons

What is the final phase of neurodevelopment involving synapses?

Neuron death and synapse rearrangement

Study Notes

Neurodevelopmental Process Overview

  • The five phases of neurodevelopment are induction of the neural plate, neural proliferation, migration and aggregation, axon growth and synapse formation, and neuron death and synapse rearrangement.
  • Induction of the neural plate occurs approximately 18 days after gestation, induced by chemical signals from the mesoderm.
  • The earliest cells are totipotent, then pluripotent, and finally multipotent as they become neural plate cells.
  • The neural tube forms the basis for the future spinal cord and brain, while the neural crest forms the basis for the future peripheral nervous system.
  • Approximately 40 days after conception, the tissue that develops into the central nervous system (CNS) is recognizable as a fluid-filled tube, with cells proliferating in species-specific ways.
  • Neural tube cells proliferate and differentiate, resulting in the development of specific characteristics and the formation of major brain structures.
  • Neural tube cells migrate through radial and tangential migration, guided by chemical signals and glial cells, and align themselves with other cells to form structures.
  • Cell-adhesion molecules and gap junctions aid in migration and aggregation, and axons and dendrites begin to grow once migration is complete.
  • The first demonstration of precise axonal growth was shown by Sperry in 1940, with the chemoaffinity hypothesis explaining the mechanisms underlying axonal growth.
  • The formation of new synapses depends on the presence of glial cells, especially astrocytes, and chemical signal exchange between pre- and postsynaptic neurons.
  • Approximately 50 percent more neurons than needed are produced, and both passive (necrosis) and active (apoptosis) cell death occur, with apoptosis being safer than necrosis.
  • Neurotrophins such as nerve growth factor (NGF) promote growth and survival, guide axons, and stimulate synaptogenesis, while neurons die due to failure to compete for chemicals provided by targets.

Test your knowledge of neurodevelopmental processes with this quiz. Explore the phases of neurodevelopment, from induction of the neural plate to neuron death and synapse rearrangement. Gain insights into the formation of the central and peripheral nervous systems, cell proliferation and migration, axon growth, synapse formation, and the role of neurotrophins.

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