How The Brain Rewires Itself It was a fairly modest experiment, as these things go, with volunteers trooping into the lab at Harvard Medical School to learn and practice a little five-finger piano exercise. Neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone instructed the members of one group to play as fluidly as they could, trying to keep to the metronome's 60 beats per minute. Every day for five days, the volunteers practiced for two hours. Why dread a bump on the head? The neuroscience of traumatic brain injury This lesson serves as the introduction to the “Why dread a bump on the head?” unit. Students are introduced to traumatic brain injury (TBI) through pictures and discussions that help students break down prior assumptions and begin to think about TBI from a scientific perspective. Students learn about and discuss the three classifications of TBI, mild, moderate, and severe. These categories are presented through the reading and discussion of news articles. Students then examine a hypothetical situation where they are the doctors on a brain injury case.
Decision-Making and Control in the Brain Damage to the brain's frontal lobe is known to impair one's ability to think and make choices. And now scientists say they've pinpointed the different parts of this brain region that preside over reasoning, self-control and decision-making. Researchers say the data could help doctors determine what specific cognitive obstacles their patients might face after a brain injury. For the study, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) examined 30 years worth of data from the University of Iowa's brain lesion patient registry and mapped brain activity in almost 350 people with lesions in their frontal lobes. They linked these maps with data on how each patient performed in certain cognitive tasks. MRI scans of a human brain show the regions significantly associated with decision-making in blue, and the regions significantly associated with behavioral control in red.
Neuroplasticity Contrary to conventional thought as expressed in this diagram, brain functions are not confined to certain fixed locations. Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is an umbrella term that encompasses both synaptic plasticity and non-synaptic plasticity—it refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly-held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how - and in which ways - the brain changes throughout life. Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury.
Lessons The neuroscience lesson resources found here - teacher guides, student guides, handouts, overheads, software, and other supporting materials for classroom activities - are available for your download and use. Each lesson has been aligned with Minnesota Science Standards and we are in the process of aligning the lessons with the Next Generation Science Standards. All materials on this site are available at no cost for educational and non-commercial use. Lessons fall into these groups: UCSB scientists discover how the brain encodes memories at a cellular level (Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory. The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other. "When we learn new things, when we store memories, there are a number of things that have to happen," said senior author Kenneth S.
Neurogenesis: How To Grow New Brain Cells Adults can still grow new brain cells — neurogenesis — but what are they for? For a long time scientists believed that neurogenesis was impossible: adults had all the brain cells they were ever going to have. Now we know that’s not true. Nanoparticles and Brain Tumors Guide Activity Home Teacher's Guide Glossary Credit & Thanks Recommended Grade Levels: 10-12+ Tips for using the site with students
Researchers show that memories reside in specific brain cells Our fond or fearful memories — that first kiss or a bump in the night — leave memory traces that we may conjure up in the remembrance of things past, complete with time, place and all the sensations of the experience. Neuroscientists call these traces memory engrams. But are engrams conceptual, or are they a physical network of neurons in the brain? In a new MIT study, researchers used optogenetics to show that memories really do reside in very specific brain cells, and that simply activating a tiny fraction of brain cells can recall an entire memory — explaining, for example, how Marcel Proust could recapitulate his childhood from the aroma of a once-beloved madeleine cookie. In that famous surgery, Penfield treated epilepsy patients by scooping out parts of the brain where seizures originated.
Neurogenesis Neurogenesis (birth of neurons) is the process by which neurons are generated from neural stem cells and progenitor cells. Most active during pre-natal development, neurogenesis is responsible for populating the growing brain with neurons. Recently neurogenesis was shown to continue in several small parts of the brain of mammals: the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. Studies have indicated that the hormone testosterone in vertebrates, and the prohormone ecdysone in insects, have an influence on the rate of neurogenesis.
Deep Brain Stimulation - Teacher's Guide Activity Home Teacher's Guide Glossary