Development of the Central Nervous System Human development begins with a single cell that then divides to produce many cells. These cells will differentiate into three layers (endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm) and then form specialized cell types. Some of the cells become the nervous system—the neurons, which are the basic functional unit of the nervous ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2007
Development of the Central Nervous System
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katherine Nickels
    Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2007
Development of the Central Nervous System
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2007, Vol. 17, 3-7. doi:10.1044/nnsld17.2.3
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2007, Vol. 17, 3-7. doi:10.1044/nnsld17.2.3
Human development begins with a single cell that then divides to produce many cells. These cells will differentiate into three layers (endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm) and then form specialized cell types. Some of the cells become the nervous system—the neurons, which are the basic functional unit of the nervous system, and their supporting cells, the glia. These neurons and glia arise from precursor cells and develop into the brain and spinal cord, and then form synaptic connections that allow neural functioning to occur.
Neural development begins within the first 3 weeks of gestation (Clark, 2004) and continues long after birth (Haynes et al., 2005). This development occurs in overlapping stages, beginning with the induction (or initiation) of the neural plate and tube to become the brain and spinal cord. Other processes—including proliferation of neurons, migration of those cells to particular areas of the brain, differentiation of neurons to perform specific types of neural processing, formation of synapses (connections between and among neurons), myeli-nation, and selective death of neurons—then occur.
First Page Preview
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview ×
View Large
Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.