Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 3 DQ 1 (PSY375)

Describe the limitations and advances in attention and memory during the preschool years. How accurate is the long-term memory of young children, and why?

The reticular formation and the hippocampus are heavily involved in the formation of long-term memory and the regulation of attention. It is during the early childhood years that myelinization of the neurons in these sections of the brain occurs. From what I was reading myelinization increases nervous conductivity velocity. Previously I had thought that myelinization was only useful in the peripheral nervous system. I can see how it would be advantageous to increase the speed of nerve conductivity from the fingers to the spinal cord, but I had not considered the usefulness of myelinization in the brain until now. I can see how the myelinization of neurons in the hippocampus increase the assimilation of long-term memory. I can remember several cases in which people have undergone damage to the hippocampus and they were not able to encode new long-term memories. In this situation, a person would have all of their previous long-term memories before the accident or incidence, but no new long-term memories after the accident. Furthermore, I have a 5 year-old son and I can certainly see that the neurons in his reticular formation have not yet been myelinated. He has a hard time holding his attention on anything for more than a few seconds. I can’t wait until his neurons get myelinated.

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