Human Brain Development: Nature and Nurture With Helen Neville, Ph.D.
Institutional DVD price: $ 250.00
The fascinating interplay of genetic predispositions and experience in the development of the brain after birth is demonstrated in this film produced at the Brain Development Laboratory at the University of Oregon. Three profiles of plasticity are depicted with compelling film sequences of behavioral, MRI and EEG research into the development of visual perception and language acquisition from infancy through old age. A congenitally deaf young woman, hearing university students and lively preschool children participate in controlled studies that illustrate both how neuroscience research is conducted and also how all brains change over time and circumstance. Practical advice for the utilization of sensitive periods and optimal specialization of brain areas make the learning of these concepts meaningful to students.
This title, part of the Neuroscience Series from Davidson Films, provides a basic foundation of the nature v. nurture concept as it relates to human brain development. Narrator and researcher, Dr. Helen Neville, guides the viewer through several examples of what happens when the brain is developing basic systems such as vision and language. In addition, it illustrates how neuroscience research experiments are conducted.
There is quite a bit of information packed into this 27 minute film. The concept of plasticity is the overarching theme, with introductions to constrained systems (not changing much over the lifespan), modifiable and dependent systems (change based on experience but only at certain times), and highly modifiable (changeable during all parts of the lifespan). These concepts are illustrated through examples like vision development, language and grammar development, and experiments conducted at the Psychology Department Brain Research Lab at the University of Oregon.
Professionally created, this film is a fine complement to the impressive catalog of Davidson Films. It is a welcome addition to the educational psychology and neuropsychology areas, where there are not very many well done introductory programs available. The one problem that stops this reviewer from assigning a higher rating is a lack of balance between the very introductory and the more complicated concepts, creating a challenge for assigning a proper audience level. Nonetheless, it is recommended for senior high through early college library collections.
-- Lori Widzinski, Health Sciences Library, University at Buffalo, State University of New York