It is generally conceived that once a human being has fully developed, the brain remains fixed. This essentially means that we can’t be growing new brain cells, nor can we change the structure and composition of the brain. However, recent research in neuroscience has proved this belief totally wrong.
In what has now been termed as neuroplasticity, scientists have found that the nerve cells of our brains also known as neurons change in response to newer situations or changes in the environment. This phenomenon is explained in a mesmerizing TED talk by neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret who explains in a concise manner how the human brain produces around 700 new neurons each day in the hippocampus region. You may (at first sight) underestimate the significance of this. How on earth do 700 neurons make a difference when we have billions of neurons? A preliminary calculation, however, shows that by the time we reach the age of 50, we will have exchanged all the neurons we were born with in that structure with adult-born neurons. As Thuret explains, nerve cells of the brain are imperative for memory capacity and the quality of those memories. He further goes on to explain that research has shown a strong link between neurogenesis i.e. the process through which neurons are born and depression. If one was to have an animal model of depression, there would be a concurrent lower level of neurogenesis.If one were to use anti-depressants, it would increase the production of neurons and decrease depression rates.
If one were to use anti-depressants, it would increase the production of neurons and decrease depression rates. This, in turn, establishes a link between depression and neuro-genesis.
To sum it all up research has given us suggestive evidence that neuro-genesis is the choice to make if you want to improve memory, mood and even reverse aging. The obvious question, therefore, remains: Can we regulate neuro-genesis? The answer is overwhelming yes. For more, go ahead and watch the TED talk to find out: