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erniefernandez's avatar

What technically defines brain "maturity" or "maturation"?

Asked by erniefernandez (541 points ) August 24th, 2009

I’ve been reading Time Magazine’s “The Brain: A User’s Manual” and “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor and they often refer to brain “maturity”.

For instance, the brain “matures” from back to front, starting with the occipital lobe and progressing toward the amygdala (cue angry teenager!) and finally in the frontal lobe; a process that continues to death.

Well, what the hell is maturity, in terms of physical changes in the brain? They all assume that is understood, and it’s not!

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5 Answers

asmonet's avatar

Ask nikipedia.

casheroo's avatar

uh yeah, I say we wait for the neuroscience gals.

PerryDolia's avatar

Studies of brain activity reveal which regions of the brain are being used when a person does some mental activity such as think of a picture of a rose, or plan what they are going to do in a given situation. These regions move forward in the brain as a person matures. The adolescent brain shows the greatest rate of change and most regions are mostly set by age 20, but changes can continue to occur until some people are 30 years old.

When you continue to use the same regions of your brain for the same functions, your brain is said to be mature. link

mattbrowne's avatar

There are physical changes in the brain your whole life. I think there are different levels of maturity. One milestone might be the end of infantile amnesia, i.e. the time humans get access to their autobiographic memory.

nikipedia's avatar

Hi guys.

I assume these writers are referring to volume and density of brain tissue as well as the behavioral correlates that accompany these changes. Here’s an article that gives a pretty good summary. It says that as you get older, your white matter (the connections between brain cells) gets denser while your gray matter (cell bodies) tends to thin out. This might be because you’re actually losing brain cells, or it could be “diluted” by a larger overall brain volume thanks to the increased white matter.

Any more brain questions… send ‘em my way :)

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