Explain Two Effects of the Environment on Physiological Processes

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Certain effect of the environment can affect physiological processes such as hormones, neurotransmitters and the brain. The two effect of the environment on physiological processes that will be discussed are the enrichment of certain environments on brain plasticity and the observation of experiences actions on the activation of mirror neurons.

The first effect of environment on physiological processes that will be discussed is brain plasticity. Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to rearrange its connections with its neurons, that is, the changes that occur in the structure of the brain as a result of learning or experience (exposure to different environments). The
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The MRI scans showed no structural differences in the groups’ brains before juggling and there was an increase in volume of 2 regions of the jugglers brains associated with the retention of visually detected movement information of learning. Practicing watching balls move and learning to move in response has strengthened the neural connections in brain areas responsible for the activity. This study demonstrates the effect of enrichment on brain plasticity in participants who juggled.

The research studies above demonstrate that the more a person performs a particular activity, the more neural connections are formed in the area of the brain responsible, creating a physical change in the brain. This represents the bidirectional relationship between the environment and physiological processes occurring in the brain.

Another way in which the brain interacts with the environment has to do with how people learn is through a unique physiological process called mirror neurons. One of the ways that people learn is by observing others and then imitating their behaviour. Mirror neurons are special neurons, which may play a vital role in the ability to learn as well as empathize with another person. They placed electrodes in the inferior frontal cortex of macaque monkey’s brains to study neurons dedicated to control of hand movement. This led to the observation that some neurons
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