To gain a deeper understanding of human development, it is important to examine the structure and maturation of the central nervous system; it forms the anatomic basis of all human functions. This entry gives a broad overview of the central nervous system from two very different vantage points. First, the function of individual nerve cells and the maturations of neural networks are examined on a microscopic level. Specifically, generation and pruning of synapses and myelinations of neural circuits are described in the context of developing new functions as the individual matures.

Second, the structure and function of the brain is explained from a macroscopic point of view. Specifically, the entry describes the functions of different brain regions, including the brain stem, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex, and ...

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