Environmental Effects on Physiological Processing Essay

565 Words3 Pages
It is said that certain effects of the environment can affect physiological processes such as hormones, neurotransmitters, but in particular, the human brain. Therefore the relationship between the environment and physiology is often said to be bidirectional where environmental enrichment changes the cerebral cortex and therefore the brain changes our experiences and behaviour. Two effects that the environment can have on physiological process are: The enrichment of particular environments on brain plasticity. The relationship between the environment and physiology can also be affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), SAD is a mood disorder where people who are un-affected throughout the year until either summer or winter when they gain depressive symptoms. Brain plasticity is a physiological process that can be affected by an enriched or deprived environment. Brain plasticity is the brains ability to rearrange its connections with neurons; this is the changes of the brain that happen in its core structure as a result of learning or experience. The changes to brain plasticity that can take place due to an enriched or deprived environment are related to the challenges of the environment and thus the brain evolves so it can handle the new challenges. Maguire et al. Were attempting to demonstrate the changed to Neuroplasticity due to an enriched brain environment. They did this by doing a purposive sample looking at if the hippocampus of 16 male , right handed taxi drivers would change due to their high navigational skills. The taxi drivers were compared with 50 scans of healthy right handed males who did not drive taxis. They found that the posterior hippocampus of taxi drivers were significantly larger than the control group. This study has shown that an enriched environment can alter Neuroplasticity. However because the sample was only 16 right
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