Learning is growing: scientists investigate the links between memory and brain,,development

Neuroscientists are discovering striking similarities between the way the brain develops and the way it stores knowledge. In a special issue of the journal Learning & Memory, research groups from Caltech, Yale University, and other institutions explore this parallel, presenting new studies on how a family of proteins called growth factors help nerve cells not only to grow but to learn and accumulate a lifetime of memories.

Nerve cells signal one another at specialized connections called synapses, forming circuits that carry out specific functions like coordinating muscle activity or recognizing friends. Scientists widely believe that the brain can store newly learned facts and behaviors by increasing signal strength at the appropriate synapses. As they study this process, however, scientists are discovering the brain has more than one use for the same trick: circuits forming their connections at the beginning of life may use the same synaptic strengthening mechanisms as adult circuits use to learn. Standing out among the common elements are the neurotrophins, a family of proteins critical for cell survival and growth in the developing nervous system. The studies presented in the special issue of Learning & Memory continue a string of exciting indications that neurotrophins are also important for strengthening synapses in the adult brain.

In this issue, Benedikt Berninger, Alejandro Schinder, and Mu-ming Poo (University of California, San Diego) show that neurotrophins have more effect on weak synapses than strong ones. Measuring signal strength between pairs of nerve cells, they find that applying neurotrophins increases synapse strength dramatically if the initial signal is small. If the initial signal is already large, neurotrophins do not increase it much further. This work suggests neurotrophins strengthen nerve connections by "maturing" undeveloped synapses, leaving strong or "mature" synapses relatively unaffected. So learning may really b

Contact: Peggy Calicchia
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Clemson launches S.C. DNA Learning Center
2. Learning opportunities expand using GIS data
3. Learning how cells tiny motor powers its mobility
4. Learning how organs tell left from right
5. Jefferson Scientists Find Link Between Learning And Preventing Alzheimers
6. Williams Syndrome: UD Research Pinpoints Language And Learning Traits Of Those With The Disorder
7. Learning To Feel Chronic Pain
8. Learning About Evolution Critical For Understanding Science
9. Uterine Environment Boosts Learning Ability In Mouse Offspring
10. Carnegie Mellon Researchers Say Direct Instruction, Rather Than "Discovery Learning" Is Best Way To Teach Process Skills In Science
11. Learning From Birds And Bees: Engineers Study Insects For Ideas On Tiny "Micro Air Vehicles"

Post Your Comments:

(Date:2/22/2019)... ... February 21, 2019 , ... On January 7th, ... SacroFuse system in conjunction with NanoFUSE’s Orthobiologic during a surgery at ... time that either SacroFuse or NanoFUSE have been used in Latin America. ...
(Date:2/19/2019)... ... February 20, 2019 , ... ... out across the organization. Dimensions provides in-depth data, visualizations, and analytics to ... planning, and understand past and future funding activity. , Developed in collaboration ...
(Date:2/19/2019)... ... February 18, 2019 , ... ... technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today ... external business partner recognition, the External Business Partner of the Year Award. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/9/2019)... ... March 08, 2019 , ... OnlineMasters.com, ... the release of their Best Online Master's in Biotechnology Programs for 2019. ... quality, program flexibility, affordability, and graduate outcomes. , In addition to insights ...
(Date:3/5/2019)... ... March 05, 2019 , ... ... engineering firm with regulatory filing authorities, logistics network experts, and experienced integrated staffing ... its participation in the Inc. Verified Profile program, Inc. editors independently reviewed the ...
(Date:2/27/2019)... SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... February 27, ... ... is expanding its service offering. Starting today, the San Diego-based team-building and ... of 30 people or more: Tacos + Tequila. , This fun-filled, interactive team-building ...
(Date:2/26/2019)... , ... February 26, 2019 , ... ... when Visikol Co-Founder Dr. Thomas Villani developed the Visikol® tissue clearing technology for ... has since transitioned from a products focused company to primarily a services focused ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: