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Evidence of Cognitive Plasticity in Humans

  • R. Grant Steen
Chapter
Part of the The Springer Series on Human Exceptionality book series (SSHE)

Abstract

We have seen that environment can affect the form of the brain – shown unequivocally by secular changes in cranial vault volume. We have also seen that environment can affect the function of the brain – shown unequivocally in the case of stress-induced PTSD. But, we still have not demonstrated that the environment can induce a change in the cognitive capacity or intelligence quotient (IQ). One of the surest indicators of cognitive capacity is the ability to use language. Children typically acquire language skills in just a few years, without learning formal grammar or advanced analytical thinking skills. Word learning is not just fact learning; speech perception is not just hearing; communication is not just building logical structures with simple building blocks; rather, language is a complex and highly adaptive means to convey intention, motive, and meaning. But young children learn language so rapidly that some scientists have argued that the human brain is innately adapted to language [1]. In fact, language arose in the human line, it seems to have evolved quite rapidly in humans, and it can potentially account for our tremendous success as a species. Language enables us to coordinate actions among people, thereby overcoming the individual weakness to forge a collective strength [2].

Keywords

Twin Pair Intelligence Quotient Language Ability Alcohol Exposure Language Impairment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Communications Consultants, LLCChapel HillUSA

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