Brain Development - Free Essay from Our Collection

Published: 2022-07-19
Brain Development - Free Essay from Our Collection
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human development
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1558 words
13 min read

Different human beings develop in unique ways depending on the way one is brought up. The brain on the other hand also develops as one continues to grow and more neurons continue to build up to assist in brain functioning. Therefore, the paper is premised on a discussion about brain development during adolescence, one personality over their lifetime, Alzheimer's disease, and Erikson's theory of development.

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Question 1 - Brain development in adolescents

Different brain centers develop and become functionally connected with time. In most cases, in the brain, the last part to mature is always the prefrontal lobe. However, brain development in adolescents is characterised by the imbalance between the rewards systems and the limbic, which tend to mature early leading to not fully mature prefrontal control system. The drawn imbalance might be the neural substrate for the typical emotional style of reactive in adolescence and may promote behaviours that are risky. Brain development in adolescents is thought to connect in stages and can be categorised in many ways to name but a few. (1) The cerebellum that coordinates and controls movement and other processes of the brain. (2) The hippocampus and amygdala that controls memory and emotions of an adolescent. (3) The cortex that connects up all the thinking part and senses, including the prefrontal cortex that is involved in good control and judgement. (4) The spinal cord and the brain base that delivers messages to and from all body parts, controlling what happens in specific parts that one does not have to think about like digestion, lungs and heart (Terrie 75). Nonetheless, most adolescents tend to think with their feelings thus showing different emotions, and some part of their brain light ups are different. Adults use their prefrontal cortex to gauge the faces and try to settle on the happening emotion while adolescents use their amygdala most of the time drawing the "thinking with their feelings" term as they try using and understanding their feelings. However, risky adolescent behaviours like abuse (emotional, verbal, sexual or neglect) can affect how the brain is connected and its functioning, and in times of peak brain development like pregnancy, the brain might malfunction. Additionally, drugs and alcohol may be poisonous to the developing brain and can cause damage to the brain nerves, affecting memory and organisation (Vijayakumar et al. 2030).

Question 2 - Personality

Personality refers to the individual differences in characteristic thinking patterns, behaviour and feeling. I think one's personality changes over their lifetime due to the life experiences one might encounter. Some incur minor changes, but others opt to change their personality entirely due to their reasons. The five main personality traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism also called the OCEAN. In regards to openness, most people who like learning new things and enjoying the life experiences usually score high in being open. Some might have other thoughts of being open depending on the type of friends he or she relies. Openness includes traits like being imaginative, insightful and having a wide variety of interests from both human, things and animals (Timothy & Zapata 1160). Also, openness to experience can be described as the complexity and depth of an individual's mental life and their experiences. Therefore, for one to be open, they must be willing to try new things, be vulnerable and can think outside the box.

Additionally, people with the Conscientiousness personality trait can be termed as those who have a high degree of consciousness and are prompt and reliable. Their tendency can also be high regarding controlling impulses, acting in socially acceptable ways and having behaviours facilitating goal-directed behaviour. The drawn people excel in their ability to work within their own rules, delay gratification, plan and organise things effectively without affecting people beside them. Therefore, one may opt to change his or her personality to accomplish the conscientiousness personality trait of being hardworking, persevering, planner, et cetera in case he or she was low and liked procrastinating, being flighty, impulsive and impetuous (Timothy & Zapata 1160).

The third personality trait is the Extroversion trait that is concerned with where an individual gets their energy and their ways of interacting with others. Extroverts often draw strength from interacting with others while introverts get bored and tired from interaction and replenish their energy from the solitude. One may change from being an introvert to an extrovert to get more information, boost their self-esteem, be talkative et cetera to convince people of their changing personality. Also, Agreeableness individuals are friendly, compassionate and cooperative thus they get along with others well. While extroversion deals with sources of energy and interaction, agreeableness deals with the orientation to others and rests on how you interact with others like being humble, patient, moderate, trusting et cetera. This trait can draw respect from your friends and colleagues making one to adopt it. There is also, the Neuroticism that relates to an individual's emotional stability and the degree of negative emotions (Timothy & Zapata 1160). A person may change his personality to overcome this trait as it may lead to depression, hatred, fear to name, but a few to be an active and energetic being who loves and cares for their neighbours.

Question 3 - Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease that leads to the destruction of memory and other essential memory functions. The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include Memory loss like forgetting an immediate conversation, having less energy and the drive to do things. Also, there are changes in vision or visual impairment such that reading words or picking items is a problem, moods swings that lead to depression or lack of interest; there is a hard time in doing the everyday tasks like following a recipe or even balancing a chequebook to name but a few (Alzheimer's Association 470). The abnormalities in the brain that characterise Alzheimer's disease are that: The brain shrinks typically to some degree in healthy aging, but neurons are not lost in large numbers. With time, many neurons stop functioning, lose their connections with other neurons then die. Alzheimer's disease disrupts processes that are vital to neurons and their networks losing sensitivity including metabolism, communication and repair. Later, the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus in the brain are destroyed affecting the cerebral cortex that is responsible for reasoning, social behaviour and language. However, although this disease mostly affects the aged, if an older adult experiences short-term memory loss, it is not necessarily an indicator of Alzheimer's disease (Alzheimer's Association 470).

Question 4 - Erikson's theory of development

Erikson's theory of development has eight distinct developmental stages and emphasises the sociocultural determinants of development. Erikson's theory states that all individuals must resolve or overcome the eight stages to adjust well to the environment. The stages of life that his theory does a good job of explaining are the last four stages of development. Identity versus role confusion that takes place during adolescence. The drawn stage plays an important role in developing a sense of personal identity that influences the behaviour and development for the rest of one's life. Intimacy versus Isolation that covers early adulthood period when people are often exploring the personal relationships. In this stage, Erikson believed that it was vital that people develop intimate relationships with other people and those who would have successfully passed would be secure and enduring (Kenda 14). Generativity versus Stagnation where people focus on building their lives, careers and families. People successful at this stage often feel that they are contributing actively to the world. Those who fail feel uninvolved and unproductive. Integrity versus Despair that occurs during old age and most people reflect on their life. During this stage, people look back on the events of their lives and draw their conclusions whether they achieved all they wanted or not. The first two stages (Trust vs Mistrust and Autonomy vs Shame and doubt) are not described well by Erikson because they only focus on infant life, and they grow fast (Kenda 14). Nonetheless, this theory does a good job of describing development as it gives out every developmental detail right from birth to death.


In summary, the human brain centres and develops with time and in most cases the last brain part to mature is always the prefrontal lobe. Also, adolescents tend to think and make decisions with their feelings as that is how the brain is set to function. Nonetheless, personality refers to people's differences, and each person can opt to change his or her personality for the better. Alzheimer's disease is a disease that often destroys the brain and mostly affects the aged. The symptoms include memory loss, mood swings, less energy et cetera. Also, there are eight developmental stages in Erikson's theory where each stage has to be passed by every individual to ascertain proper maturity.

Works Cited

Alzheimer's Association. "2016 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures." Alzheimer's & Dementia 12.4 (2016): 459-509.

Cherry, Kenda. "Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development." Psychology. Psychosocial Theories. Paivitetty14 (2017): 2017.

Judge, Timothy A., and Cindy P. Zapata. "The person-situation debate revisited: Effect of situation strength and trait activation on the validity of the Big Five personality traits in predicting job performance." Academy of Management Journal 58.4 (2015): 1149-1179.

Moffitt, Terrie E. "Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour: A developmental taxonomy." Biosocial Theories of Crime. Routledge, 2017. 69-96.

Vijayakumar, Nandita, et al. "Brain development during adolescence: A mixedlongitudinal investigation of cortical thickness, surface area, and volume." Human brain mapping37.6 (2016): 2027-2038.

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