Why Human Brains Are Better At Learning

One of the most amazing things about the human brain is neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to reorganize and restructure itself with new knowledge and experiences. Simply put, learning literally changes the brain.

While scientists used to think that the brain stopped developing in early childhood, we now know that the brain continues changing and adapting into middle and old age.

But we’re still learning about the nature of plasticity. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have just discovered that the brain’s plasticity doesn’t work the way that neuroscientists had previously thought.

While previous theories of plasticity were formulated based on lab animals, the new research used human brains. Researchers found that a particular type of cell — the oligodendrocyte, a building block of myelin, which is known to play an important role in communication between cells in the nervous system — is far more sophisticated in human beings than in mice or rats, which may contribute to the human brain’s superior plasticity.

Here’s how it works: When we learn something new, nerve cells create new connections in the brain. These nerve cells are, therefore, important for storing new information in the brain. Our —> Read More Here


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