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ide. Neurons gonna make cells in your mind, there are 100 billion in your brain all combined. They communicate through electrical and chemical means. So many different types that help you think and move, working together when you’re in the video game groove. Ones that fire when you touch the controller, others that help you respond to prevent game over. These changes happen at the synapse.
In a sedentary group of people aged 60 to 75, University of Illinois researchers introduced them to a fitness regime. For six months the elders had either an aerobic or non-aerobic workout for up to 90 minutes, three times a week. "We chose couch potatoes," said the study's lead author, cognitive neuroscientist Arthur Kramer. The 214 healthy adults hadn't been involved in any physical exercise for the previous 5 to 10 years.
REBOUNDING BRAINS: Hibernating mammals offer scientists a unique way to study the brain's plasticity, as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Image: Alan Vernon, via Wikimedia Commons Every September arctic ground squirrels in Alaska, Canada and Siberia retreat into burrows more than a meter beneath the tundra, curl up in nests built from grass, lichen and caribou hair, and begin to hibernate . As their lungs and hearts slow, the rivers of blood flowing through their bodies dwindle and their core body temperatures plummet, dipping below the freezing point of water . Electrical signals zipping along crisscrossing neural highways vanish in many areas of the brain.
As you may or may not have heard, a recent study lead by Britta Holzel, PhD, a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, showed significant benefits to our brains with a group of people engaging an 8-week program in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). More specifically, the group who took MBSR showed an increase in gray matter in key parts of the brain connected to learning, memory and a decrease in gray matter in the amygdala also known as the “fear circuit,” connected with anxiety and stress. When a study like this comes out a flurry of activity hits the web through news articles and blogs, but what does it really mean?
“My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind.” William James, American psychologist
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. Alfred E.
The brain's rostrolateral prefrontal cortex region (credit: UBC Dept. of Psychology)
Mind & Brain :: Head Lines :: May 2, 2011 :: :: Email :: Print
This image from the Hubble Telescope shows part of the Carina Nebula, located roughly 7,500 light-years from Earth. This massive cosmic cloud is a stellar incubator, but the newborn star found inside has to fight its way out by firing off powerful, super-fast jets. These energetic, narrowly focused jets are known as Herbig-Haro objects. Moving at hundreds of miles per second, these jets don't last long, at least not by cosmic standards -- they dissipate after "only" a few thousand years.
Those Against Neuroplasticity Claims
The Wellspring Institute For Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom
Contrary to common ideas as expressed in this diagram, brain functions are not confined to certain fixed locations.
Neuroplasticity: The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. Brain reorganization takes place by mechanisms such as "axonal sprouting" in which undamaged axons grow new nerve endings to reconnect neurons whose links were injured or severed.