noun, plural: maturations
(1) The process of differentiation
(2) The process of becoming mature
Maturation pertains to the process of becoming mature. A mature organism, for instance, is one that has completely grown and developed for any function or state. The state of full development or completed growth is referred to as maturity. In biology, maturation is the process of differentiation. For instance, a mature cell is a cell that has differentiated, which means it has acquired a specific rather than a generalized function. In developmental biology, cell differentiation is the normal process by which a less specialized cell develops or matures to possess a more distinct form and function. The outcome is often a cell changing into another cell type. And along this process, there are changes that occur in the cell. For instance, the cell changes its shape, size, cellular content, metabolic activities, and responsiveness.
Maturation may also be about the development of an organism into reaching adulthood. An adult human, for instance, is one who has reached sexual maturity. The biological context of adulthood is an individual that has attained reproductive ability or has shown secondary sex characteristics. Other references include the completion of all growth of bones as another basis of reaching adulthood.
- mature (verb, adjective)