Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have developed sophisticated microscopy techniques that permit them to watch how the brains of live mice are rewired as the mice learn to adapt to new experiences.
Their studies show that rewiring of the brain involves the formation and elimination of synapses, the connections between neurons. The technique offers a new way to examine how learning can spur changes in the organization of neuronal connections in the brain.
"This finding was quite unexpected, because the traditional view of neural development has been that when animals mature, the formation of synapses ceases, which is indicated by stable synaptic densities," said Karel Svoboda, from research team. "However, the flaw in this view has been that a stable density only indicates a balanced rate of birth and death of synapses. It doesn't imply the absence of the formation of new synapses, but it was often interpreted that way."
This is the most convincing proof to date that the adult brain can rewire itself in response to outside world. >from *A new window to view how experiences rewire the brain*, december 19, 2002
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> synaptic construct