Biology Question #1945

Lisa, a 15 year old female from London asks on March 1, 2004,

When does each organ system of the human body reach full maturity?

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The answer

Michael Poling answered on March 10, 2004

Wow! Big Question! Maturity is a very BROAD term and can be defined many ways. It varies for each body system. The musculoskeletal system, for example, reaches relative maturity in most people between 18 and 22. In contrast, the nervous system, debatably, never reaches "maturity" (whatever that is), as psychologically we are changing, which changes the way in which we use our brain. But anatomically, the brain reaches maturity after puberty, hormonal levels having plateaued and many of our "neural networks" having been formed. Neural networks are a bunch of brain cells which have figured out a way of working together to get a task done. After you do a task a number of times, those networks do it automatically.

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