Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Very interesting read!!!!!

I was researching fetal movements in correlation to abnormalities, but couldn't find anything on the Internet. I did find this website though and found some VERY interesting material. Keep in mind the main issue the MRI dr says we are having is with "cortical thinning", or Jude's cerebral cortex.


"Last of all to mature is the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for most of what we think of as mental life--conscious experience, voluntary actions, thinking, remembering, and feeling. It has only begun to function around the time gestation comes to an end. Premature babies show very basic electrical activity in the primary sensory regions of the cerebral cortex--those areas that perceive touch, vision, and hearing--as well as in primary motor regions of the cerebral cortex. In the last trimester, fetuses are capable of simple forms of learning, like habituating (decreasing their startle response) to a repeated auditory stimulus, such as a loud clap just outside the mother's abdomen. Late-term fetuses also seem to learn about the sensory qualities of the womb, since several studies have shown that newborn babies respond to familiar odors (such as their own amniotic fluid) and sounds (such as a maternal heartbeat or their own mother's voice). In spite of these rather sophisticated abilities, babies enter the world with a still-primitive cerebral cortex, and it is the gradual maturation of this complex part of the brain that explains much of their emotional and cognitive maturation in the first few years of life."

"Although it has already undergone an amazing amount of development, the brain of a newborn baby is still very much a work-in-progress. It is small--little more than one-quarter of its adult size--and strikingly uneven in its maturity. By birth, only the lower portions of the nervous system (the spinal cord and brain stem) are very well developed, whereas the higher regions (the limbic system and cerebral cortex) are still rather primitive."

All very interesting, and if you can read the whole page from the link.

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