It is known that the generation of circuitry and connections during brain development occurs mostly before birth. The before birth related genariotion of circuitry is mainly guided by communication of cells. Cells communicate via physical contact and different kind of chemical signal particles. Even though most of the connections or wires in the brain are formed before birth, still some final refinement of wiring happens after the birth. This refinement is particularly occured in the cortex. The refinement is affected by the information through different sensory systems. Sensory systems react to the stimuli from the environment. All sensory systems and also motor systems are affected by the environment during critical periods of early childhood. That is why our brain is not only a product of the genes we have but also of the world in which we grow up. After the critical periods of early childhood in the brain new connections are created and some connections are lost. The modification of the brain happens through our whole life and the modification is a basis for creating memories.
In addition to the lecture there was an excursion to the Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU) of Helsinki University. Originally, CBRU’s research focused on a phenomena called mismatch negativity (MMN). These days CBRU studies the auditory system more comprehensively. The research encapsulates topics, such as the system’s function and impairments as well as its development and plasticity. In their studies, CBRU employes language and music as auditory stimuli. There have been several interesting studies and results. For example, music has been shown to be beneficial in helping to rehabilitate the brain after a stroke and relieving the symptoms of dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Being exposed to music in one’s youth has also been shown to have positive effects, such as boosting a child’s language abilities.