Week 8: Wiring the brain

The eighth week started with a quiz with a quiz and a lecture. The new topic for this week is wiring the brain. This week is no exercise session, but instead we have our second excursion (Cognitive Brain Research Unit).


On the lecture

The lecture was about the wiring of the brain. This week we had a video about the lecture, but the lecture slides are not posted to the traditional location. It would be nice to have the slides also for a quick refresh about the topics of the lecture. The lecture was interesting. Main topics were the the development of cells and the brain. We also discussed about the life cycle of a cell and especially neuron. There was also couple of interesting questions.


The excursion: Cognitive Brain Research Unit

Unfortunately both of us were busy this week, and therefore we couldn’t attend this week’s excursion. The excursion would have taken place at Cognitive Brain Research Unit at University of Helsinki. In this research unit, they address human auditory and crossmodal cognition, and also their impairment and plasticity.  The main areas of research are human language and music processes. This excursion would have been so interesting, too bad we couldn’t be there. But we’re already looking forward the next one, hopefully all the excursions keep having as interesting topics as previous ones!


At home

The book chapter 23 Wiring of the brain gave us a good base for studying the topics of the week. The development and life cycle of cells was already familiar for us from our previous studies, but the book gave us more precise information especially about the synapses and their development and life cycle. 


What did we learn?

This week’s topic really made us realise how complex the brain is. One of the most interesting details we learnt was the plasticity of the brain and the critical ages for language development. It’s interesting how children learn languages so fast due to critical periods (sensory system development), while adults have to work hard even to learn the basics. But also, if a child doesn’t learn any language when being young, it’s difficult to learn to communicate by language at all during their entire lives.

Posted by Ona Westerlund

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