PSY 201 Discussion The Rigidity Imposed by Critical Periods

PSY 201 Discussion The Rigidity Imposed by Critical Periods

PSY 201 Discussion The Rigidity Imposed by Critical Periods

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Development of the brain is influenced by nature and nurture. Give two examples of how “nurture” (experience, environmental influences) can impact brain development in either a positive or adverse way. Support your statements with findings from a scholarly research article (s). Cite your reference(s).

DQ2 Critical Periods

What is meant by the term, “critical period” as it refers to development? Discuss how the concept of critical periods applies to various aspects of physical, brain, and perceptual development. In terms of brain development, how have research findings on neuroplasticity changed our views about the rigidity imposed by critical periods? Support your response with findings from scholarly research. Cite your reference(s).

In developmental psychology and developmental biology, a critical period is a maturational stage in the lifespan of an organism during which the nervous system is especially sensitive to certain environmental stimuli. If, for some reason, the organism does not receive the appropriate stimulus during this “critical period” to learn a given skill or trait, it may be difficult, ultimately less successful, or even impossible, to develop certain associated functions later in life. Functions that are indispensable to an organism’s survival, such as vision, are particularly likely to develop during critical periods. “Critical period” also relates to the ability to acquire one’s first language. Researchers found that people who passed the “critical period” would not acquire their first language fluently.[1]

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Some researchers differentiate between ‘strong critical periods’ and ‘weak critical periods’ (a.k.a. ‘sensitive’ periods) — defining ‘weak critical periods’ / ‘sensitive periods’ as more extended periods, after which learning is still possible.[2] Other researchers consider these the same phenomenon.[3]

For example, the critical period for the development of a human child’s binocular vision is thought to be between three and eight months, with sensitivity to damage extending up to at least three years of age. Further critical periods have been identified for the development of hearing[4] and the vestibular system.

Critical periods of plasticity occur in the prenatal brain and continue throughout childhood until adolescence and are very limited during adulthood. Two major factors influence the opening of critical periods: cellular events (i.e. changes in molecular landscape) and sensory experience (i.e. hearing sound, visual input, etc). Both need to coincide for the critical period to open properly. At the cellular level, critical periods are characterized by maturation of the inhibitory circuits.[9] More precisely, factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and orthodenticle homeobox 2 (Otx2) contribute to the maturation of a major class of inhibitory neurons: parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PV cells).[9] Prior to the onset of the critical period, modulation of this circuit is hampered by early factors such as polysialic acid (PSA).[9] PSA acts, in part, by preventing Otx2 interaction with PV cells.[10] Soon after the opening of the critical period, PSA levels decrease, allowing PV cell maturation by activating inhibitory GABAa receptors that facilitate inhibitory circuit remodeling. Artificially removing PSA, or experimentally manipulating inhibitory transmission can result in early opening of the critical period.[10][11] While the timing of these molecular events seems to be partially explained by clock genes,[12] experience is crucial as sensory deprivation experiments have been shown to interfere with the proper timing of critical periods.

Every individual has their own beliefs and aspects regarding their life. the way of living depends on their culture and traditions. The worldview is a point of view to understanding someone’s personal experience, traditions, and the events of societies and history (Vidal, 2008). The other example of a worldview is the person who has ideas related to reality and knows the way how to interpret the experience of how the world is operating out is called a worldview (Taves, et al., 2018).

The concept of spirituality is a very wide experience of personal beliefs. Every person has their own perception related to spirituality. Spirituality may depend on religious traditions or the belief in a higher power (Elizabeth, S., 2022). It is also depending on the historic belief in an individual connection to others. It may be related to the thinking and experience of the world as a whole as it is felt by a person in their life on the level of physical and sensory perception. Spirituality is a way to find comfort and relieve stress for people. Some research shows that it is a different path to search for God or a higher power, and it also supports the reality of those persons who are more spiritual or religious are able to cope with challenges and stress. You can check for connections of spirituality by asking deep questions related to illness, emotions, or what happens after death, the experience of compassion and empathy for others, connection to others, and the feeling of happiness beyond the material possessions checking for meaning and purpose of life, and the looking for the chance to make the world a better place.

There are so many different types of spirituality that the person can get connected with their own ways such as breath work, meditation, prayer, serving their community, spending time with nature, yoga, spiritual retreats, etc. As the question asked related to spirituality and the way I can influence the way of care of my patients, I can apply this in my profession while finding the purpose and meaning of my job and responsibilities for my patient to relieve their stress, worries, and to provide comfort by releasing their stress. I will make myself capable to deal with depression, anxiety, and stressful situation, and promote my skills to support my patients. I will respect their feelings, religion, and beliefs related to their culture and history. I will try to find the cause of their stress, try to measure the power of God and the hope for healing, and also try to build positive thinking for life.


Elizabeth, S. (2022, August 19). What Is Spirituality? How Spirituality Can Benefit Your Health and Well-Being. Verywellmind. Retrieved October 4, 2022, from,others%20and%20to%20the%20world%20as%20a%20whole.

Taves, A., Asprem, E., Ihm, E. (2018). Psychology, meaning-making, and the study of worldviews: Beyond religion and non-religion. American Psychological Association. Retrieved October 5, 2022, from

Vidal, C. (2008). Wat is een wereldbeeld? In H. Van Belle, & J. Van der Veken (Eds.) Nieuwheid denken: De wetenschappen en het creatieve aspect van de werkelijkheid (pp. 71-83). Acco, Leuven: Belgium.

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