Fetal Brain Development And The Preterm Infant

2033 words - 9 pages


Embryonic brain development begins a few weeks after conception through the processes known as gastrulation and neurulation (Gilbert, 2000). During gastrulation the embryo changes from a simple group of cells to a multi-layered organism. Three germ layers are formed during this process: the endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm (Gilbert, 2000). The endoderm is the most inner layer and forms the lining of internal organs. The mesoderm is the middle layer which forms the skeletal, muscle, and circulatory systems. The ectoderm is the outer most layer which forms the skin, brain and nervous system.
During the process of neurulation the ectoderm, the outermost germ layer, goes through a thickening process which in turn forms the neural plate. With changes in cell attachment and shape, the plate beings to rise and fold eventually with both sides meeting in the middle creating a tube (Gilbert, 2000). This tube pulls away from the ectoderm forming what is termed as the neural tube. “By 27 days, the tube is fully closed and has already begun its transformation into the brain and spinal cord of the embryo” (Zero to three). Failure of the neural tube to close can result in the cerebral cortex not being able to be formed or in spina bifida.
Cells called neural progenitor cells, which formed and differentiated in the ectoderm during gastrulation, begin forming the brain, hind brain and the spinal column (Jernigan & Stiles, 2010). The brain has become quite complex now including three primary brain vesicles (the prosencephalon, mesencephalon, and hombencephalon) and additional secondary brain vesicles (the telencephalon, diencephalon, metencephalon, and myelencephalon) (Jernigan & Stiles, 2010). The first neurons begin forming in the spinal cord allowing the fetus to make movements. These changes all occur within the eighth gestational week of the pregnancy.
The fetal stage, which consists of gestational week nine through birth, is defined
by significant changes in the brain structures. “The human brain begins as a smooth, “lissencephalic” structure and gradually develops the characteristic mature pattern of gyral and sulcal folding” (Jernigan & Stiles, 2010). The brain splits into two cerebal hemisphers as the first fissure develops. Neurons, which began developing in the embryonic stage, begin to form gray matter in the hindbrain, spinal column, cerebellum, midbrain structures, and the neocortex (Jernigan & Stiles, 2010). Neurons in the cortex begin to differentiate and take on properties which will allow for the formation the neural pathways and communication network of the brain. This network will form the white matter of the brain which will continue to develop well into adolescence. “Much of brain development in the fetal period centers around the processes of neuron production, migration and differentiation” (Jernigan & Stiles, 2010).
Towards the beginning of the...


Brain Size and Development Essay

2033 words - 9 pages Over time, the human brain has evolved into an amazing organ of the human body. It can store a lot of information that is essential to the survival of the human race, and being successful in life. The brain has evolved and grown, it has always been hard to figure out what caused the growth and development. Microcephalin and the abnormal spindle-like microcephaly-associated, or ASPM, proteins are the genes that are responsible for brain size and

Brain Development and Autism Essay

2172 words - 9 pages Oliver 1 The brain is essential to growth and development in humans. During the critical period of development, how we experience the world plays a role in our brain development. In recent years, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has become prevalent among disorders that affect brain development. Due to advancements in technology, the world is able to understand how important brain research is to the early detection of autism. Leo Kanner

Brain Development and Autism

1099 words - 5 pages Oliver 1 The brain begins to develop in the mother’s womb and continues to develop as the child develops. The development of the brain contributes to the functioning of the body by controlling functions such as fine and gross motor skills, vision, and memory. The brain does not develop at the same pace for all children. Therefore, engaging children in physical activities, learning activities, and communication will assist with brain

The Psychoanalytic Perspective on Infant Development

1774 words - 8 pages energy is focused on the mouth and conflict arises from weaning the infant. Then in the anal stage, the focus is on the anus, and the conflict arises from potty training. The conflict in the phallic stage deals with the young child’s sexual feelings towards the opposite sex parent, in what Freud called “the Oedipus complex”. During the latency stage of development, a person’s energy is sublimated into activities such as school, sports, and

Abortion Fetal tissue research is the process of using fetal tissue, derived from legal abortions, for scientific research into fundamental biological processes and human development

746 words - 3 pages away a human life. Purely biologically speaking, it is undeniablethat a fetus is a human, and an individual. at the moment of conception,the fetus has a DNA that is different from his or her mother. By three weeks, the baby's heart is pumping itsown circulatory system with a blood type different from its mother.9Doctors measure the end of life by brain death. It is then reasonable tosay that the beginning of life should be at least measured by the

Infant States: The Development and Shifts in Sleep Patterns - Psychology 344, Thompson Rivers University - Assignment

2404 words - 10 pages Thompson rivers university – open learning Infant States: The Development and Shifts in Sleep Patterns Psych 344: Assignment 2 Julia Daria – Student # 100114222 8/30/2010 Abstract When Peter Wolff (1966) observed baby’s eye movements and muscle activity in his classic study, he distinguished seven states of arousal: non-rapid-eye-movement sleep (NREM), rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM), periodic sleep, drowsiness, alert inactivity, active alert

Review of “Parent-Child Interactions and Development of Toddlers Born Preterm” by Magill-Evans and Harrison (1999)

827 words - 4 pages Introduction Harrison and Magill-Evans (1999) sought to determine whether an infant’s interactions with his mother and father during the first year mattered more than the fact that a child was born preterm or full-term when it came to early childhood development. Researchers have reported diminished interactive behavior for preterm infants (Banard, Bee, & Hammond, 1984) and less responsive interactions in parent-preterm infant dyads than in

Empirical Research on Infant Development and Eye Gazing

2004 words - 9 pages , the infant responds by smiling less and looking less at the adult. Therefore, it is shown the importance of eye gaze to an infant and that if this eye gaze is broken, it can have a negative effect on the infant. In conclusion, this research has provided a deeper understanding into the field of infant development. This study looked to see whether infants differentially process an adults’ eye gaze depending on directed or averted eye gaze from

The Relationship of Infant Attachment Patterns to Personality Development

1518 words - 6 pages PAGE PAGE 2 The Relationship of Infant Attachment Patterns to Personality DevelopmentPurposeFrom the previous study, personality development has five perspectives, they are temperament, psychoanalytic, attachment, self and observed behavior, and this study will only focus on attachment perspective. According to Ainsworth (1978, as cited in Cassidy, & Mohr, 2001)'s attachment finding, there are 3 types of attachment: 1) secure attachment; 2

The Importance of Early Brain Development

924 words - 4 pages organizations have made information readily available for parents, childcare providers, and students to advise them of the importance of childhood brain development. This information is not only critical for the child, but for the person they will become in the future. Prenatal brain development is not usually the first topic on a pregnant woman’s mind, if it crosses her mind at all! Many women do not know what adverse effects certain

The Development of a Child's Brain

1387 words - 6 pages I often look at newborns in amusement and wonder what were are thinking about. Never did I stop for a moment to think about the complex wiring of the brain. It is known that the complete development of the brain is necessary for the normal physical and mental processes of a person but I wrongly assumed that such development is completed before birth. It is interesting to know that Dr. Harry Chugani, a pediatric neurobiologist at Wayne State

Similar Essays

Lead Toxicity: Its Effects On Fetal And Infant Development

2667 words - 11 pages Lead Toxicity: Its Effects on Fetal and Infant Development Lead toxicity has been an area of unending research in recent years. There have been positive and negative correlation’s relating its toxic effects to both child developmental deficiencies and adult regression problems. This review will focus on the problems associated with the children. It will discuss various routes of entry of lead into the child’s system, both prenatally and

Vitamin A And Fetal Development Essay

1024 words - 5 pages (>3000 μg) during pregnancy, especially in the early months. Its potential teratogenicity “may cause fetal malformations and spontaneous abortions because vitamin A binds to DNA, and so influences the cell development.” Even acne medications like isotretinoin, which is used to treat severe acne is not recommended during pregnancy due to high risks of birth defects. However, high intakes of vitamin A carotenoids do not have the same teratogenic effects

The Constructivist Theory And Brain Development

2425 words - 10 pages harmful substances or neglect. Outside factors have a large influence on the development of the infant from before birth to after. Alcohol, other drugs and substances, nutrition, and maternal stress all play a role in the development while the child is still in the womb. Alcohol has effects on the development and function of the placenta, which supplies nutrients to the baby and can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (Slater & Bremner, 2011

Environmental And Genetic Impact On Fetal Development

710 words - 3 pages have consequences on emotional and cognitive development of a child postnatal. Deena Palenchar (2005) stated that there are environmental agents, which can adversely affect the prenatal development. These agents are known as teratogen. When exposed to these environmental agents, genetic materials interact with them producing effects that can have direct bearing o the rearing of the child. On the other hand, there is stress. Stress is a normal