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Sorin Miron
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Researchers Show Brain Activity Drives Dynamic Changes in Neural Fiber Insulation

Full article at http://goo.gl/XT4rb7.

The brain is a wonderfully flexible and adaptive learning tool. For decades, researchers have known that this flexibility, called plasticity, comes from selective strengthening of well-used synapses — the connections between nerve cells.

Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have demonstrated that brain plasticity also comes from another mechanism: activity-dependent changes in the cells that insulate neural fibers and make them more efficient. These cells form a specialized type of insulation called myelin.

The research is in Science Express. (full access paywall)

Research: “Neuronal Activity Promotes Oligodendrogenesis and Adaptive Myelination in the Mammalian Brain” by Erin M. Gibson, David Purger, Christopher W. Mount, Andrea K. Goldstein, Grant L. Lin, Lauren S. Wood, Ingrid Inema, Sarah E. Miller, Gregor Bieri, J. Bradley Zuchero, Ben A. Barres, Pamelyn J. Woo, Hannes Vogel, and Michelle Monje in Science Express. doi:10.1126/science.1252304

Image: Sending neural impulses quickly down a long nerve fiber requires insulation with myelin, which is formed by a cell called an oligodendrocyte that wraps itself around a neuron. Even small changes in the structure of this insulating sheath, such as changes in its thickness, can dramatically affect the speed of neural-impulse conduction. This illustration shows an oligodendrocyte myelinating several axons. The image is for illustrative purposes only and is not connected to the research. Credit Holly Fischer.

#neuroscience   #neuroplasticity   #brainplasticity  
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Take a break. Watch this video. Be sure to embiggen it. Worth the time.

Thx +Sarah Keartes (shared on FB)
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