The Brain’s White Matter–Learning beyond Synapses

Recently scientists have been exploring part of the brain that has been relatively unexplored in learning–white matter, comprising half of the human brain.  Here new research is detecting cellular changes during learning that are entirely different from the synaptic changes between neurons in gray matter.  A new study shows that learning a new motor skill requires generation of new myelin, the electrical insulation on nerve axons.

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Posted in Aging, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Diet and Exercise, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Uncategorized
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Brains are made of plastic

Brains are made of plastic. Seems like a ridiculous claim. The brain is not made of plastic. Or, is it? In neuroscience we often refer to the brain as being plastic, but, what is plastic? The definition that most of us are familiar with is the material known as plastic. Continue reading

Posted in About Neuroscience, Brain Basics, by Steven Miller, Cell Communication, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function
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“Brainy” Mice with Human Brain Cells: Chimeras of Mice and Men

Human brain cell transplantation makes mice smart.  The transplanted cells are not neurons and the cells communicate without using electricity. Continue reading

Posted in Animal Research, Brain Development, by Douglas Fields, Cell Communication, Evolution, Learning and Memory, Neural Network Function, Neuroanatomy, Uncategorized
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