Temporal Limitation and Irreversibility of Brain Development
In the mental development (compare the article by Konrad et al., 1) the increase of puberty hormones stimulates the development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
Here, androgens show a rather inhibiting effect on CRH production, while estrogens have a stimulating effect. Emotions and stress tolerance are influenced by this. Stress hormones, in turn, stimulate the development of the subcortical structures, which stimulate the development of the cortical structures.
Thus, in summary it can be stated that this development also follows the usual principles of temporal limitation and irreversibility, as well as step-by-step progression.
As bone growth ultimately induces heart growth under physiological conditions, while the reverse does not apply, an increase in puberty hormones ultimately induces the development of cortical structures during the mental development, while the reverse does not apply.
The developmental discrepancy between subcortical and cortical structures, i.e., the emotionality without sufficient cortical control, is responsible for the behavior patterns typically observed in puberty. However, under physiological conditions it will not be observed – in analogy to physical development – that cortical structures are more developed than subcortical structures or that they even stimulate their growth.
Dipl.-Psych. Dr. phil. Dr. med. Helmut Niederhofer
Sächsisches Krankenhaus für Psychiatrie und Neurologie
Conflict of interest statement
The author declares that no conflict of interest exists
|1.||Konrad K, Firk C, Uhlhaas PJ: Brain development during adolescence: neuroscientific insights into this developmental period. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110(25): 425–31 VOLLTEXT|