Achieve Mastery of Medical Concepts

Study for medical school and boards with Lecturio

Developmental Cognition and Biological Bases of Cognition

The human brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification is a complex organ, both structurally and functionally. Cognition is a term used by psychologists to describe an array of processes and activities in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification including perception Perception The process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted. Psychiatric Assessment, thinking, reasoning Reasoning Decision-making Capacity and Legal Competence, memory Memory Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory. Psychiatric Assessment, attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment, and the formation of new information or ideas. However, this process is now considered a limited view of cognition as it is becoming evident that cognition is the product Product A molecule created by the enzymatic reaction. Basics of Enzymes of the interplay between several components and activities.

Last updated: Aug 13, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

What is Cognition?

When individuals are attentive to their environment, they can perceive, analyze, store, and remember information and use it to form decisions or generate ideas. Such individuals are aware of their situation, needs, and goals.

Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with impaired cognition due to aging or neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease Alzheimer disease As the most common cause of dementia, Alzheimer disease affects not only many individuals but also their families. Alzheimer disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes brain atrophy and presents with a decline in memory, cognition, and social skills. Alzheimer Disease are known to have an impairment in one or any of these cognitive domains.

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

During his observational studies Observational studies Observational studies are used to observe and measure outcomes in a cohort with no control over risk factors or variables. They are often retrospective. Types of observational studies include cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, and cohort studies. Epidemiological Studies on children, Piaget hypothesized that cognition involves 4 main developmental stages. The 1st stage is called the sensory-motor stage. Infants from the time of birth until 2 years of age depend largely on touching, hearing, and observing different stimuli to learn about their environment. Their main goal is to achieve their own needs; therefore, they are considered egocentric.

Piaget's stages of development

Jean Piaget’s model included 4 development stages.

Image by Lecturio.

The pre-operational stage begins at 2 years of age and usually ends by 7 years of age. During this period, thought processes are believed to start to develop. Children start building their vocabulary, but their thoughts are still immature and, perhaps, illogical to an adult.

During the pre-operational stage, children can understand symbolism and start differentiating between right and wrong. Moreover, they begin to understand that they are not the center of the world and learn to accept that their younger siblings need more parental attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment than them.

Children are in the concrete operational stage from 7 to 11 years. During this period, their thoughts are logical and rational. They can develop rational thoughts about an object, such as a toy, only if they can see and manipulate it.

Finally, children enter the formal operational stage, during which they can form logical thoughts even about objects that are not present in front of them. Therefore, children aged 11–16 years are considered to have the maturity of thought, reasoning Reasoning Decision-making Capacity and Legal Competence, and abstract thinking that is common in adults.

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

The previously described model has limitations Limitations Conflict of Interest in terms of identifying factors that might affect each stage of cognitive development. Developmental cognitive neuroscience is a recent field of study that focuses on understanding how genetics Genetics Genetics is the study of genes and their functions and behaviors. Basic Terms of Genetics, disease processes, epigenetics, and the environment affect cognition development.

Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and autism spectrum disorders, which have both environmental and biological bases Bases Usually a hydroxide of lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium or cesium, but also the carbonates of these metals, ammonia, and the amines. Acid-Base Balance, have been identified. It is currently believed that genetic predisposition puts an individual at an increased risk of developing certain conditions; however, in many cases, genetic predisposition does not lead to the development of that disease unless certain external inputs, i.e., environmental factors, are also present.

Many genes Genes A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. DNA Types and Structure have been attributed to an increased incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency of depression, schizophrenia Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations. The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are traditionally separated into 2 groups: positive (delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech or behavior) and negative (flat affect, avolition, anhedonia, poor attention, and alogia). Schizophrenia, and other mental disorders. However, not all individuals carrying these polymorphisms actually develop the disease. The current belief is that the environment plays a crucial role in disease emergence in susceptible individuals even during infancy.

The genetic–environmental interplay in neurodevelopment can affect neuronal axonal plasticity and the neuronal circuits, cell loss and regeneration Regeneration The physiological renewal, repair, or replacement of tissue. Wound Healing, and neurotransmitters in different regions of the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification. These changes may be responsible for the abnormal phenotype Phenotype The complete genetic complement contained in the DNA of a set of chromosomes in a human. The length of the human genome is about 3 billion base pairs. Basic Terms of Genetics in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Assessment of Cognition

It is important to assess cognition objectively to classify patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship and guide their treatment plans in a clinical setting. A common tool to assess cognition is via a formal mental state examination or using the Mini-Mental State Examination Mini-Mental State Examination Major Neurocognitive Disorders ( MMSE MMSE Major Neurocognitive Disorders). Both techniques are used in facilities for the elderly for the repeated assessment of dementia Dementia Major neurocognitive disorders (NCD), also known as dementia, are a group of diseases characterized by decline in a person’s memory and executive function. These disorders are progressive and persistent diseases that are the leading cause of disability among elderly people worldwide. Major Neurocognitive Disorders over time.

These examinations depend on the clinical assessment of cognitive domains such as working memory Memory Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory. Psychiatric Assessment, short-term visual and verbal memory Memory Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory. Psychiatric Assessment, executive function, inhibition/disinhibition, abstract thinking, attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment, and language tasks.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is currently used to assess cognitive functions such as short-term memory Memory Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory. Psychiatric Assessment, visual perception Perception The process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted. Psychiatric Assessment, visual attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment, selective attention Attention Focusing on certain aspects of current experience to the exclusion of others. It is the act of heeding or taking notice or concentrating. Psychiatric Assessment, and language, and is considered a more objective approach. However, it often only provides information learned by testing groups of individuals with the same condition. This method may have limited clinical value as it is not specific enough to attribute the exact location of a disease to a particular patient.

Despite this drawback, the use of fMRI to assess language, motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology skills, and short-term memory Memory Complex mental function having four distinct phases: (1) memorizing or learning, (2) retention, (3) recall, and (4) recognition. Clinically, it is usually subdivided into immediate, recent, and remote memory. Psychiatric Assessment is of tremendous importance for the presurgical evaluation of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with pharmacoresistant epilepsy Epilepsy Epilepsy is a chronic brain disorder marked by recurrent and unprovoked seizures. These seizures can be classified as focal or generalized and idiopathic or secondary to another condition. Clinical presentation correlates to the classification of the epileptic disorder. Epilepsy.

Psychophysical testing provides an objective assessment of various complex, cognitive processes such as perceptual learning, visual-attention problems, and visual perception Perception The process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted. Psychiatric Assessment in conditions such as diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus.

Magnetic resonance image of a human brain

Magnetic resonance image of a human brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification

Image: “MRI brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification” by Fastfission~commonswiki. License: Public Domain

Assessment of the Biological Determinants of Cognition

Depression, schizophrenia Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health disorder characterized by the presence of psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations. The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are traditionally separated into 2 groups: positive (delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech or behavior) and negative (flat affect, avolition, anhedonia, poor attention, and alogia). Schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition characterized by obsessions (recurring and intrusive thoughts, urges, or images) and/or compulsions (repetitive actions the person is compelled to perform) that are time-consuming and associated with functional impairment. Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD), and autism have been extensively studied at the cellular level in both humans and animals Animals Unicellular or multicellular, heterotrophic organisms, that have sensation and the power of voluntary movement. Under the older five kingdom paradigm, animalia was one of the kingdoms. Under the modern three domain model, animalia represents one of the many groups in the domain eukaryota. Cell Types: Eukaryotic versus Prokaryotic to determine the biological pathways and bases Bases Usually a hydroxide of lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium or cesium, but also the carbonates of these metals, ammonia, and the amines. Acid-Base Balance of cognition development. These studies not only provide new insights into the pathogenesis of disease conditions but also provide information on cognitive development in a healthy population.

The levels of the neurotransmitters such as GABA GABA The most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS, glutamate Glutamate Derivatives of glutamic acid. Included under this heading are a broad variety of acid forms, salts, esters, and amides that contain the 2-aminopentanedioic acid structure. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids, acetylcholine Acetylcholine A neurotransmitter found at neuromuscular junctions, autonomic ganglia, parasympathetic effector junctions, a subset of sympathetic effector junctions, and at many sites in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS, dopamine Dopamine One of the catecholamine neurotransmitters in the brain. It is derived from tyrosine and is the precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS, and serotonin Serotonin A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid l-tryptophan. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS are altered during neurodevelopmental disorders. Once a high-susceptibility gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics has been identified for a given condition, a cellular or animal model of that disease can be established by inducing that mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations.

It is easy (in a laboratory setting) to determine the concentrations of different neurotransmitters at the cellular level by using biochemical methods and by comparing them with the respective controls. Changes in the levels of metabolites in pathological conditions can also be studied. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy and positron emission tomography can be used to evaluate the concentrations of neurotransmitters in the brain Brain The part of central nervous system that is contained within the skull (cranium). Arising from the neural tube, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including prosencephalon (the forebrain); mesencephalon (the midbrain); and rhombencephalon (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of cerebrum; cerebellum; and other structures in the brain stem. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification and their receptors Receptors Receptors are proteins located either on the surface of or within a cell that can bind to signaling molecules known as ligands (e.g., hormones) and cause some type of response within the cell. Receptors, respectively, in animals Animals Unicellular or multicellular, heterotrophic organisms, that have sensation and the power of voluntary movement. Under the older five kingdom paradigm, animalia was one of the kingdoms. Under the modern three domain model, animalia represents one of the many groups in the domain eukaryota. Cell Types: Eukaryotic versus Prokaryotic and humans.

In vivo assessments allow researchers to correlate the changes in neurotransmitter levels with possible behavioral or cognitive impairments in individuals. These studies involve the collaboration between multiple health personnel, including psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, radiologists, and neuroscientists.

References

  1. Munakata Y, Casey BJ, Diamond A. (2004). Developmental cognitive neuroscience: progress and potential. Trends Cogn Sci 2004; 8, pp. 122–128.
  2. Borson S. (2010). Cognition, aging, and disabilities: conceptual issues. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2010; 21, pp. 375–82.
  3. Mendez, M.F. (2019). The mental status examination in adults. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/the-mental-status-examination-in-adults?sectionName=Mood%20and%20thought%20content&topicRef=5083&anchor=H28388656&source=see_link#H28388656. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.
  4. Myers DG, Dewall CN. (2022). Psychology, 13th ed., Developing Through the Life Span, Chapter5, pp 705–885 (Kindle edition).

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Study on the Go

Lecturio Medical complements your studies with evidence-based learning strategies, video lectures, quiz questions, and more – all combined in one easy-to-use resource.

Learn even more with Lecturio:

Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.

User Reviews

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

Details