How many times have you read of some great accomplishment–or just thought in general about the world’s great inventions–and felt a bit dumb? Happens to me all the time, especially when I sit at this computer screen, stroke in a few words, and instantly find answers in any field that interests me. When I board a jet, or Mike’s little plane, or see pictures of our beautiful globe beamed from the heavens, or use my cell phone as I whirl down the highway, or with a thin black cord, suck numbers from my camera into my computer that then shows me pictures I have snapped, and that I then, with the mere push of a button, flick onto the internet and that you, my invisible friends around the world, can see. Yep, I feel dumb…and with my well-working intuitive sense, I suspect at times you may as well.
I bring you good news this morning: Our brains are not through growing. Contrary to long-held beliefs, the brains of adults keep growing, keep expanding, become ever more capable. Great news! I tell you. Move over rocket scientists, we’re after you. 🙂
The Adult brain cells stop growing myth
Since there are still a big number of things we fail to understand about our brain it is somewhat understandable that such theories appear. They turn into myths and thanks to the oh so well documented media everybody thinks that they are true; and such a belief is hard to shatter even when it reffers to something untrue.
This could just be the case here. The fact that after a man has reached adulthood his brain cells stop growing is just not true. Researchers at MIT led by Wei-Chung Allen Lee have showed this. In fact the busting of this myth means proving that adult brain cells, or neurons, are not largely static and that they are able to change their structures in response to new experiences. The study they made showed that the branch-like projections on some neurons, caled “dendrites,” were still physically malleable.
More here at ZME Science
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