Brain fully ‘matures’ in middle age: Study

December 16th, 2010 - 5:48 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 16 (ANI): Contrary to previous beliefs, a new study has suggested that brain does not stop developing until late 40s.

Earlier scientists used to believe that brain stop physically evolving in early childhood but new research has shown that keeps changing well into middle age.

Brain scans have shown that prefrontal cortex - the area just behind your forehead - continues to change shape in your 30s and 40s, reports the Telegraph.

It is an important discovery as the prefrontal cortex is a key area of the brain and is often thought said to be key to what makes us human.

This area is involved with decision-making, social interaction and many other personality traits.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, of the University College London, said, “Until about 10 years ago we pretty much assumed that the human brain stopped developing in early childhood.”

“But we now understand from brain imaging that that is far from the truth and that many human brains keep on developing for many decades. The area of the brain that goes through the most protracted development is the prefrontal cortex right at the front of the brain.

“It is the part of the brain that is involved in high cognitive function such as decision making, planning and social behaviour. It is also to do with understanding other people.

“It starts develop in early childhood, is reorganised in late adolescence and continues developing well into the 30s and 40s. It is the part of the brain that makes us human,” she said. (ANI)

The new findings were presented at the British Neuroscience Christmas symposium in London. (ANI)

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