Your jeans you will have to go through a series of

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your jeans, you will have to go through a series of mental representations in  working memory before you can answer the question — that is, you will need to  picture yourself putting on jeans. If someone asks you for directions, you will  have to mentally call up a cognitive map of the relevant area — a mental  representation of the layout of the streets and roads in that area — and then use  your working memory to navigate through this cognitive map in order to give  directions. Mental representations, therefore, are an important form of  internalized knowledge. In general, children less than two years of age are unable to form adequate  mental representations because their frontal lobes have not yet developed  sufficiently. Infants are unable to recognize themselves in a mirror because they  have not yet formed mental representations of their own faces. Toddlers are  unable to use much if any language because most have yet to form mental  representations of words. In addition, toddlers don’t engage in “pretend  play”(such as “playing house”) because they have yet to form mental  representations of the required roles. Beginning at about two years of age, we  can see changes in their behaviors and abilities resulting from frontal-lobe  development — changes that now allow them to form and use mental  representations. Thus, by about two years of age, they can easily recognize  themselves in mirrors, speak in more complex ways (beyond single words), and  engage in a great deal of pretend play.
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The  ability of the nervous system to respond to environmental events and  physical damage by forming new connections between brain cells  is  referred to as  neural plasticity .
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  • Spring '06
  • Cleveland
  • frontal lobes, mental representations

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Christopher Reinemann
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