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In Motor Learning, New Brain Connections Form Rapidly

November 30th, 2009 11:48 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Science Daily has a report on research demonstrating directly that new connections begin to form between brain cells almost immediately as animals learn a new task. A team lead by researchers at UC Santa Cruz performed “…detailed observations of the rewiring processes that take place in the brain during motor learning. The researchers studied mice as they were trained to reach through a slot to get a seed. They observed rapid growth of… synapses between nerve cells in the motor cortex… The study used mice that had been genetically altered to make a fluorescent protein within certain neurons in the brain. The researchers were then able to use a special microscopy technique (two-photon microscopy) to obtain clear images of those neurons near the surface of the brain. The noninvasive imaging technique enabled them to view changes in individual brain cells of the mice before, during, and after the mice were trained in the seed-reaching task.”

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