Learning Process helps Survival of New Neurons: Using Brain at Optimal Levels


In an interesting study in the field of neuroscience, researchers have postulated that learning during the early ages of life helps in the survival of brain cells. Early learning also influence the functioning of brain cells after puberty claimed the same team.

An experiment on rats demonstrated that brain cells that were exposed to learning survived with respect to the brain cells in animals that were not allowed to master a particular task. In addition, it was observed that the latter set of animals died quickly too.

Proliferation of Neurons

As per the researchers the study insinuated that rapid growth of cells in proliferate amount could be a reason of the young ones stepping into the outside world, where they are not surrounded by the protectiveness of their mothers. In fact, they are comfortable at taking up challenges and opportunities of adulthood at an early stage.

Experts already knew that in adult rats the number of neurons is lesser with respect to the number of nerve cells during puberty. And that the neurons could be saved with learning. However, they were unaware of the fact that the new learning in young rats is also a gateway of generating 2 to 4 times more such cells relatively.

After acquiring a set of learning, researchers examined the portion of the brain that was associated with learning process. They observed that the section of cells which was injected with dye prior to the experiment. They noted that the new nerve cells that have acquired the learning were at active stage while the ones that have not been able to obtain the skill were perished away.

Learning Process v/s Learning

Therefore, researchers concluded that the learning process is more important than learning itself. The ‘process’ is responsible for longevity of the neuron cells that are there at the point of learning experience.

Since at the cellular level, process of producing new brain cells is similar in animals and humans, Shors one of the lead researcher claimed that it is not an easy task to achieve optimal learning for adolescent children.

Source: Rutgers University

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