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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Latest Neuroplasticity Stories

2011-05-05 07:30:17

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- New research from the University of Chicago Medical Center has given new insight into just what makes cocaine and nicotine so addictive. According to the research, the effects of nicotine on the regions of the brain associated with addiction are similar to those of cocaine"”both create lasting changes in a person's brain by affecting similar mechanisms of memory on first contact. Scientists have already established that learning and memory are connected to one...

2011-04-29 12:02:38

The brain is apparently programmed from birth to develop the ability to determine sunrise and sunset, new research on circadian rhythms at the University of Chicago shows. The research sheds new light on brain plasticity and may explain some basic human behaviors, according to Brian Prendergast, associate professor in psychology at the University of Chicago and co-author of a paper published April 27 in the journal PLoS One. The lead author is August Kampf-Lassin, an advanced graduate student...

2011-04-12 14:49:24

Repeated ethanol exposure enhances synaptic plasticity in a key area in the brain Drinking alcohol primes certain areas of our brain to learn and remember better, says a new study from the Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research at The University of Texas at Austin. The common view that drinking is bad for learning and memory isn't wrong, says neurobiologist Hitoshi Morikawa, but it highlights only one side of what ethanol consumption does to the brain. "Usually, when we talk about...

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...