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Plasticity, Memory, and Cortical Modulation in the Brain - The Amazing Human Brain and Human Development Quiz


 

1. The capacity to moderate frustration, impulsivity, aggression, and violent behavior is age-related.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: Think about the response differences between a three-year-old and a thirty-year-old when faced with not getting what they want. Fortunately, few adults throw themselves on the floor in crying fits when life does not go their way!


2. When the brain is called plastic, this is a reference to the gelatinous texture of the cerebral cortex.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: The human brain's plasticity is a description of its capacity for change in response to patterned, repetitive activation.


3. The brain's level of plasticity is consistent throughout the entire organ.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: The malleability of specific human brain areas is quite different.


4. The most plastic regions of the brain are also the most complex.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: The upper parts of the brain are quite plastic, allowing us to learn. The lower parts of the brain, however -- those mediating core regulatory functions -- are not very plastic. And that is for good reason. Remember, it would be very destructive for these basic and life-sustaining functions to be easily modified by experience once they were organized.


5. The traumatized child frequently develops high levels of social and emotional functioning as a coping mechanism in response to his or her experiences.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: To the contrary, the traumatized child frequently has significant impairment in social and emotional functioning.


6. Children in a state of fear retrieve information from the world differently than children who feel calm.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: Remember the test anxiety explanation? A traumatized child can be chronically unable to access information stored in cortical areas because of high levels of anxiety.


7. Once children have been removed from their threatening environment, they will "re-set" their baseline state of arousal to lower levels of alarm.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: Traumatized children, even when removed from significant threat, will "re-set" their baseline state of arousal such that they are chronically in a physiological state of persistent alarm. This is true even when no external threats or demands are present.


8. Classroom teaching will always be an effective method of teaching as long as a child has not been exposed to traumatic stressors.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: Recall that didactic instruction does not always do the trick. The brain learns through activation. Can bicycle riding be taught with pictures on a blackboard?


9. As the brain grows and organizes from the "inside-out" and the "bottom-up," the higher, more complex areas begin to control and modulate the more reactive, primitive functioning of the lower parts of the brain.
The Correct Answer: True
Comment: As the brain grows and organizes from the "inside-out" and the "bottom-up," the higher, more complex areas begin to control and modulate the more reactive, primitive functioning of the lower parts of the brain. This explains why as people mature, they ideally become less reactive, less impulsive, and more thoughtful.


10. The degree of brain plasticity is directly related to only one factor -- the particular area or system of the brain.
The Correct Answer: False
Comment: The degree of brain plasticity is related to two main factors: the stage of development and the area or system of the brain. Remember how human behavior modifies through age. The brain's plasticity has enabled social learning and impulse control to develop and be utilized.


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