Neurolife, there are misconceptions about the capabilities of our brain, often based on misinterpreted or too old the results of scientific research. Comanda neuroscientists National center for scientific research and université d'orléans offers to dispel a few neurobehav with the game on the website "slate".
about the event taking place from 6 to 14 October, the feast of science, a team of neurobiologists from the National center for scientific research and université d'orléans offers to dispel a few neurobehav with the game.
Its conditions are as follows: in the neurobiological laboratory panic! Professor Cibula found that neurolife quickly spread among the population and break the brains of everyone they picked up. So you need not wasting time to fix the situation, until they have caused irreparable damage.
Professor Sibulo need your help. You take on the role of a neuroscientist, and your task is that to find different neurolife and destroy them.
Myth # 1: the volume of the brain influences intelligence
"You empty head!" "You birdbrain!" Such expressions are often used to indicate the person on his stupidity and distraction. They are rooted in ancient ideas about the relationship between brain volume and intelligence.
An elephant's brain weighs 5 kg, and the brain of the sperm whale — 7 kg, which is almost 5 times more than ours (average 1.3 kg). And even if we start from the relationship of brain weight to body weight, you still lose: this time — the Sparrow, the brain which accounts for 7% of the mass compared to 2.5% in the us.
Now let's compare the weight of the brain of modern man and his ancestors. For 7.5 million years the brain size has tripled. Anyway, in our species, "Homo sapiens" its volume is constantly decreasing: 15-20% compared to CRO-magnons.
Are there differences between men and women? As for the size of the brain, several studies indicate that men are on average 13% more than women. Yes, but it should be remembered that the brain of the famous physicist albert Einstein (Albert Einstein) was 10% less than normal.
The way you think, your intelligence depends on brain size?
Myth # 2: the decline after 20 years
According to the accepted dogma, after 20 years, begins a loss of neurons and, consequently, the beginning of the decline of our mental abilities.
Only that this assertion ignores the fact that we have already lost many neurons much earlier, from birth. During the development of the embryo is formed, the excess number of neurons, more than half of them die off themselves naturally. The elimination of redundant neurons for the most part ends with the birth. The loss of neurons during development is an important stage of maturation of the brain.
For several decades, neuroscientists believed that we are born with a fixed number of neurons and that any loss is irreparable. However, in 1998, was made a revolutionary discovery: the human brain produces neurons.
Later studies confirmed that in one part of the brain production of neurons never stops: the hippocampus generates about 700 neurons per day in the adult human brain.
Neurons sensitive to the environment
The production of new neurons from stem cells is called neurogenesis. Both at embryonic and adult stages of development, it is very susceptible to the environment, in particular to the effects of pesticides.
A group of scientists from the laboratory of experimental and molecular immunology and neurogenetic studying the effects of pesticides on brain development, particularly in neurogenesis. Recently, experts managed to establish that constant exposure to weak doses in rodents leads to violations on the level parts of the brain that are responsible for the formation of new neurons.
Anyway, the environment can have positive effects on neurogenesis. In particular, it is contributed to the intellectual and physical activities, and social relationships. Anyway, the ability of the brain to form new neurons do decrease with age.
In any case, the most important thing for the brain is not the number of neurons and connections between them. Loss of neurons is not so terrible if the others remain effective.
Frequently used neural pathways become highways, which facilitate the solution of problems and implementation of movements and in learning and forming new memories.
This process is associated with the plasticity of the brain, which, as has been well established, persists throughout our lives.
Among the regulatory mechanisms of this plasticity is necessary to emphasize the role of such present in the brain chemicals like the neurotransmitters. They are free at the level of the synapse and provide a connection between the two neurons. Among them it is worth noting glutamine, dopamine, acetylcholine and serotonin.
Serotonin is known for that controls psychological balance and is involved in regulating the mood of a person. It should be noted that some antidepressants may affect the amount in the brain.
Whatever it is, affects serotonin and on the memorization process. It affects on the surface of neuronal receptors to control their shape, the number of synapses and synaptic plasticity.
Employees of Orleans Center for molecular Biophysics come to grips with the work of this neurotransmitter and its impact on receptors. In particular they were able to establish that the disorder on the level of activity of one receptor can lead to violations in training within the same genetic disease.
Neuronal plasticity and neurogenesis are complex mechanisms that persist throughout our lives and are the key to learning and adapting to new situations. So, do you still believe in the myth that the human brain starts decline in 20 years?
A team of neuroscientists:
- Celine Beauchamp Dubourg (Dubourg Céline);
- Flora Reverchon-Assadi (Flora Reverchon-Assadi);
- Marion, Ardourel (Maryvonne Ardourel);
- Olivier Richard (Olivier Richard);
- Severin The He Lopez (Lopez Severine Morisset);
- Stefan: (Stéphane Mortaud);
- Larralde Vanessa (Vanessa Larrigaldie).
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