In reference to development, the critical period refers to any stage of maturation during the lifespan where the nervous system is sensitive to external stimuli from the environment, and development is strongly dependent on environmental influences (Hensch & Billmoria, 2012). The critical period applies to all aspects of development, including the cognitive, physical and perceptual development. In cognitive development of infants, interaction with the parents, and particularly maternal care, has been highlighted to have an influence in the development of various cognitive schema that control emotional regulation. Similarly, in the development of visual perception, exposure to visual stimuli within the first six months of life determines the development of visual senses. On the other hand, in the physical development of adolescents, receiving sufficient or insufficient calcium and exercise influence bone mass development, which impacts incidence of morbidities in future.
Research on neuroplasticity has indicated that the rigidity imposed during the critical periods could be overcome in some instances. This primarily occurs through crossmodal plasticity, which enables the reorganization of neurons, influencing plasticity (Voss, 2013). Nurture also plays a role in neuroplasticity, as environmental fact