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Latest Neuroplasticity Stories

2011-04-07 18:54:40

New research shows using virtual reality games for treatment in stroke survivors increases upper-arm motor function Virtual reality and other video games can significantly improve motor function in stroke patients, according to research from St. Michael's Hospital. Patients who played video games, such as Wii and Playstation, were up to five times more likely to show improvements in arm motor function compared to those who had standard therapy. "Virtual reality gaming is a promising and...

2011-03-23 20:39:46

It is well established that environmental enrichment, providing animals with rich sensory, motor, and social stimulation, produces both dramatic increases in the number of synapses in the brain and enhanced learning. However, causal relationships between synapse formation and improved memory have not been definitively established. Now, a new study published by Cell Press in the March 24 issue of the journal Neuron introduces a valuable model system for investigating the role of synapse...

2011-03-23 15:25:01

The human brain loses 5 to 10% of its weight between the ages of 20 and 90 years old. While some cells are lost, the brain is equipped with two compensatory mechanisms: plasticity and redundancy. Based on the results of her most recent clinical study published today in the online version of Brain: A Journal of Neurology, Dr. Sylvie Belleville, PhD in neuropsychology, the principal author of this study and Director of Research at the Institut universitaire de g©riatrie de Montr©al...

2011-03-18 15:04:08

After disruption, mouse brains shift key functions associated with learning and memory, U-M study finds When Geoffrey Murphy, Ph.D., talks about plastic structures, he's not talking about the same thing as Mr. McGuire in The Graduate. To Murphy, an associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, plasticity refers to the brain's ability to change as we learn. Murphy's lab, in collaboration with U-M's Neurodevelopment and Regeneration...

2011-03-16 14:49:04

Their brains rewire the part of the mind associated with sight to process sound Dr. Olivier Collignon of the University of Montreal's Saint-Justine Hospital Research Centre compared the brain activity of people who can see and people who were born blind, and discovered that the part of the brain that normally works with our eyes to process vision and space perception can actually rewire itself to process sound information instead. The research was undertaken in collaboration with Dr Franco...

2011-03-16 14:25:37

The study, which has been published in Trends in Plant Science, provides an overview of plants' molecular and genetic mechanisms, which is important for ecologists, physiologists and molecular biologists, since it covers the prime requirements for anticipating plants' response to global change. The results show that plants in natural and agricultural systems have "the capacity to adapt to a changing environment without requiring any evolutionary changes, which always happens over several...

2011-03-16 14:20:54

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac are regularly used to treat severe anxiety and depression. They work by immediately increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain and by causing long term changes in brain function. However it can take weeks of treatment before a patient feels any effect and both beneficial effects and side effects can persist after treatment is stopped. New research published by BioMed Central's open access journal Molecular Brain investigates...

2011-03-16 13:52:00

When Professor Henry Higgins instructed Eliza Doolittle that it was "Ay not I, O not Ow, Don't say 'Rine,' say 'Rain'", he was drawing on years of experience as a professor of phonetics. But research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission suggests that Higgins's ability to differentiate expertly between similar sounds may have stemmed from birth. Neuroscientists at UCL (University College London) have shown that the brain structure of expert phoneticians differ from those of...

2011-03-10 15:40:00

Two studies published by an interdisciplinary team of Hong Kong researchers in the current special issue of Cell Transplantation (20:1), now freely available on-line at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/ , link the regrowth of key adult brain cells (neurogenesis) in two critical areas of the brain to both the benefits of exercise as a stress reducer and also to sexual behavior and reproductive issues. The two studies reviewing the causes and impacts of neurogenesis came out of a...

2011-02-08 13:29:14

The human brain operates as a highly interconnected small-world network, not as a collection of discrete regions as previously believed, with important implications for why many of us experience cognitive declines in old age, a new study shows. Australian researchers have mapped the brain's neural networks and for the first time linked them with specific cognitive functions, such as information processing and language. Results from the study are published in the prestigious Journal of...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'