Thinking Sensing and Behaving

Photograph of a man cleaning and taking care of a child at the same time
The brain works best with one job at a time, but daily life calls for multitasking, causing a “bottle neck” in the brain.
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Brain plasticity (from the Greek word ‘plastos’ meaning molded) refers to the extraordinary ability of the brain to modify its own structure and function following changes within the body or in the external environment.
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From the first large studies monitoring the mental functioning of the same group of healthy humans over many years, scientists have uncovered unexpected results.
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The brain uses some unconventional means to communicate.
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Once the neural induction has occurred, the next step for new neurons is a journey to the proper position in the brain. This process is called migration, and it begins three to four weeks after a human baby is conceived.
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Hormones are important messages both within the brain and between the brain and the body.
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Insulation covering wires preserves the strength of the electrical signals that travel through them. The myelin sheath covering axons serves a similar purpose.
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Molecules that are important in brain development may help treat or prevent brain injuries and disorders.
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Humans have used opiate drugs, such as morphine, for thousands of years, but these are often highly addictive and dangerous to one's health.
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Often considered the most important sense for humans, hearing allows us to communicate with each other by receiving sounds and interpreting speech.
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In response to signals from a brain region called the hypothalamus, the adrenal glands secrete glucocorticoids, hormones that produce an array of effects in response to stress.
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Neuron formation begins in the earliest stages of human development. Signaling molecules “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others, beginning nerve cell induction.
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Extreme stressors such as trauma in combat, being a victim of assault or sexual abuse, or experiencing or witnessing a crime can lead to a form of stress that can last a lifetime.
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