Aug 31, 2023

The biological switch that could turn neuroplasticity on and off in the brain

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, media & arts, neuroscience

The Conversation Weekly podcast is taking a short break in August. In the meantime, we’re bringing you extended versions of some of our favourite interviews from the past few months.

This week, how researchers discovered a biological switch that could turn on and off neuroplasticity in the brain – the ability of neurons to change their structure. We speak to Sarah Ackerman, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Neuroscience and Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Oregon, about what she and her team have found and why it matters.

This episode of The Conversation Weekly features an extended version of an interview first published on April 29. The Conversation Weekly is produced by Mend Mariwany and Gemma Ware, with sound design by Eloise Stevens. Our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. You can sign up to The Conversation’s free daily email here. Full credits for this episode available here.

Further reading: Astrocyte cells in the fruit fly brain are an on-off switch that controls when neurons can change and grow, by Sarah DeGenova Ackerman, University of OregonSwimming gives your brain a boost – but scientists don’t know yet why it’s better than other aerobic activities, by Seena Mathew, University of Mary Hardin-BaylorWhat is brain plasticity and why is it so important?, by Duncan Banks, The Open University.

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