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:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: