critical period

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crit·i·cal pe·ri·od

1. in the first hours after birth, the period of maximum imprintability; the period before and after which imprinting is difficult or impossible;
2. in animals, a period following birth when the processes underlying the capacity for socialization are activated or stamped in;
3. Synonym(s): amblyogenic period

critical period

Etymology: Gk, kritikos, critical, peri, near, hodos, way
a period during a developmental or rehabilitation crisis. Examples are the brief period in which a zygote may be formed, in which a patient may survive a myocardial infarction, or when an embryo is most vulnerable to effects of medications used by the mother.

critical period

A point in a biological rhythm (biorhythm) that occurs when an individual crosses the middle of a cycle, either from a high to a low or a low to a high; during critical periods, the person is believed to be more accident- and illness-prone.

period, critical 

A time after birth during which neural connections can still be modified by interference with normal visual experience or lesion of the visual pathway. If a person has an anomaly (e.g. amblyopia), the treatment is most likely to be effective during the earliest part of the critical period. In man it lasts up to about seven to eight years of age. If neural connections are impaired permanently during this period it will usually be impossible to repair later and the younger the child the more damaging it is. Example: binocularly sensitive cortical cells (stimulated by normal binocular vision) may never develop in uncorrected strabismus, or prolonged occlusion occurring during the critical period, especially before the age of three, and therefore the patient will not have binocular vision. Syn. plastic period. (However, this term relates more specifically to the time course during which the visual system is still responsive to treatment. This may differ from the critical period of development); sensitive period. See form-deprivation myopia; occlusion treatment.

Patient discussion about critical period

Q. what is the most critical period of pregnancy where i should be more aware? to the environment , diet ... and things like that...

A. The most critical, is unfortunately, the period with the highest chances of the pregnancy not to be noticed - the first weeks of the pregnancy. During the first eight weeks of pregnancy the various organs of the body develop most substantially, also called organogenesis. This is considered the most sensitive period. However, the fetus may be sensitive to insults during the whole pregnancy, so other periods are not "safe".

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References in periodicals archive ?
The risk of a rectal atresia was significantly elevated when the mother used anti-inflammatories during the entire critical period from 1 month prior to conception to the end of the third month.
As shown here, the effects on ChAT expression display a clearly delineated critical period, with virtually no effect either in undifferentiated cells or in later stages of differentiation.
Although most serious hepatitic events occurred during the first 12 weeks of VIRAMUNE therapy, approximately one-third of cases have been reported to occur after this critical period.
This book presents a wonderfully nuanced scrutiny of a critical period in Renaissance thought, in which attention to the too easily disparaged Marcello Virgilio reaps rich rewards.
Because they look the same today as they did 300 million years ago, coelacanths are a surviving record of a critical period when fish prepared to crawl out of the water onto dry land.
Sensitive to gender, forced and voluntary migration, and generic diversity, this valuable volume contains excerpts from over twenty black writers in Britain during a critical period in African, British, and Caribbean history when the controversy over abolition of the slave trade and emancipation of slavery was at its peak.
At this critical period in Hong Kong's history, international awareness and global vision are essential to Hong Kong's own emerging arts policy.
The Critical period receives very little more attention in this book than does the post-Critical period, essentially an examination of the Opus Postumum.
Kanold explained that there is an early "critical period" for hearing, similar to the better-known critical period for vision.
Researchers in the US said their study suggested that the first week of life may be a critical period for setting life-long patterns of body weight.
Walker has written a detailed and important book that illustrates a critical period in Peruvian history, and his discussions of the Tupac Amaru rebellion and caudillismo are very strong.
It is a commonplace that the seventeenth century was a critical period of transition from the theological world of the later middle ages and the Reformation to the more secular and culturally segmented world of modernity.