Learning is growing: scientists investigate the links between memory and brain development

Brian Scott brians at interlog.com
Wed Sep 1 18:56:55 EST 1999

Bill Skaggs wrote:
> "John" <johnhkm at netsprintXXXX.net.au> writes (quoting a press release):


>  This
> > work suggests neurotrophins strengthen nerve connections by "maturing"
> > undeveloped synapses, leaving strong or "mature" synapses relatively
> > unaffected. So learning may really be growing after all.


> Why is it so common to see scientific work of indisputably high
> quality (which this is) being described with press releases that are
> sheer nonsense?
>         -- Bill

They seem to just want a catchy statement that the public will remember. 
Besides the synaptic strengthing and neurotrophin-related "growth"
stuff.  Recent work has shown a corelation between learning and
increased neurogenesis in adult rodent hippocampal dentate gyrus.  Maybe
learning and growth really are related after all.


Brian Scott           |     Institute of Medical Science &
brians at interlog.com   |  Bloorview Epilepsy Research Programme
                      |        University of Toronto
                      |           Toronto, Canada

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