With reference to one empirical study, explain how environmental factors can effect one physiological process. (4 marks)

Environmental factors can prove to affect one physiological process through scientific studies. For example in a study by Rosenzweig and Bennett some rats were put into a stimulating environment with toys and other rats were put into an environment without toys. The aim of this experiment was to measure the effect of either enrichment or deprivation on the development of neurons in the cerebral cortex. In post-mortem studies the lab rat with toys was notably more developed in brain size proving that the brain's ability to rearrange neurons and make more connections. This is known as brain plasticity. On the other hand the rats placed in the other environment, without stimulation, had a smaller cerebral cortex. This study shows that a stimulating envrionment improves brain development.