Among informed laymen, but also among most experts, it is accepted that the human brain develops explosively in infants and young children, and that this process slowly slows down at the age of 5 or 7, to actually stop until about the age of twenty.
That is why there is so much pressure on new parents who are terrified of stories about the importance of early development. They try in every way possible to teach a lot of stuff their new-born children, whether in foreign languages, letters, sports… because it cannot be compensated for later. What we did to that age – we did. To put it simply, we have been given a brain that, after an early age, can only be smaller or less functional.
These claims are heavily misused by the industry of teaching, smart toys and various children’s and parenting courses and classes. Living off of that parental concern and the need to invest a great deal of effort and money for their children to succeed in this competitive, new age.
Yet, occasionally, another, relevant voice is heard saying that this idea of early development (and finality of brain development) is completely incorrect. One new study just confirmed that throughout their lives, humans produce new brain cells to use for learning and memory.
The biggest debate then, is about what happens in the part of the brain called the hippocampus that is responsible for short and long term memory as well as memory that helps us cope with space.
In the hippocampus, a huge number of new neurons are created in babies brains, but studies to date have reported that nothing new happens after puberty. Such a conclusion was also drawn from observations of changes in the brain in mice and some other animals.
Nevertheless, new important work published in the journal “Cell Stem Cell” deals with people and shows that new neurons are created in adults throughout the century. Dr. Maura Boldrini of Columbia University in New York, who conducted the research, jokingly adds “humans seem to be really different from mice” in which neuronal production declines sharply with age.
Boldrini and her colleagues watched the hippocampus of 28 people, men and women, ages 14-79. Not on scanners but live. These were hippocampuses of generally healthy people who passed away just hours earlier, so this team could see how they formed blood vessels, observe the number and volume of cells, as well as their “maturity” and various other important indicators.
It is about the fact that in one part of the hippocampus there are specific “mother cells” from which “daughter cells” are formed, which then divide and make many new cells and thus produce neurons. Previously, it was thought that there was a finite number of “mothers of cells” and that their number was declining as we age.
However, it turns out that we still produce a huge number of neurons, even though we have fewer “mother cells,” Boldrini explains, noting that those with age can “network” less well.
The results of this study have caused many experts to be dismayed as it contradicts decades of belief. But this is not the first study to suggest that the brain develops into adulthood.
More than a decade ago, one interesting study was done among London taxi drivers – scientists filmed their hippocampus and found that they were on average larger than the hippocampus of ordinary people. This is because that part of the brain is responsible for being able to cope in space. Specifically, the longer the taxi drivers did the work, especially those with seniority of 40 years or more, the larger the hippocampus and its structure changed, explained then Dr. Elenor Megwaier, who conducted this research. That is why you probably do not have to prepare for the job of a taxi driver from an early age, but it is enough that at some point in your life you just sit behind the wheel and over time, become very successful in that job. As in any other.
Also, if you are interested in boosting other brain abilities, you should check out ”ELECTRICITY CAN BOOST YOUR BRAIN” , ‘‘3 SIMPLE EXERCISES TO BOOST YOUR CONCENTRATION”, ”How to Build Your Focus Using Simple Techniques”
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