Navigation Links
Brain adds cells in puberty to navigate adult world
Date:3/4/2013

The brain adds new cells during puberty to help navigate the complex social world of adulthood, two Michigan State University neuroscientists report in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists used to think the brain cells you're born with are all you get. After studies revealed the birth of new brain cells in adults, conventional wisdom held that such growth was limited to two brain regions associated with memory and smell.

But in the past few years, researchers in MSU's neuroscience program have shown that mammalian brains also add cells during puberty in the amygdala and interconnected regions where it was thought no new growth occurred. The amygdala plays an important role in helping the brain make sense of social cues. For hamsters, it picks up signals transmitted by smell through pheromones; in humans, the amygdala evaluates facial expressions and body language.

"These regions are important for social behaviors, particularly mating behavior," said lead author Maggie Mohr, a doctoral student in neuroscience. "So, we thought maybe cells that are added to those parts of the brain during puberty could be important for adult reproductive function."

To test that idea, Mohr and Cheryl Sisk, MSU professor of psychology, injected male hamsters with a chemical marker to show cell birth during puberty. When the hamsters matured into adults, the researchers allowed them to interact and mate with females.

Examining the brains immediately after that rendezvous, the researchers found new cells born during puberty had been added to the amygdala and associated regions. Some of the new cells contained a protein that indicates cell activation, which told Mohr and Sisk those cells had become part of the neural networks involved in social and sexual behavior.

"Before this study it was unclear if cells born during puberty even survived into adulthood," Mohr said. "We've shown that they can mature to become part of the brain circuitry that underlies adult behavior."

Their results also showed that more of the new brain cells survived and became functional in males raised in an enriched environment a larger cage with a running wheel, nesting materials and other features than in those with a plain cage.

While people act in more complicated ways than rodents, the researchers said they hope their work ultimately sheds light on human behavior.

"We don't know if cells are added to the human amygdala during puberty," Sisk said, "but we know the amygdala plays a similar role in people as in hamsters. We hope to learn whether similar mechanisms are at play as people's brains undergo the metamorphosis that occurs during puberty."


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy McGlashen
andy.mcglashen@cabs.msu.edu
517-420-1908
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. REST is crucial for the timing of brain development
2. Holding a mirror to brain changes in autism
3. Strong scientific evidence that eating berries benefits the brain
4. The Japanese traditional therapy, honokiol, blocks key protein in inflammatory brain damage
5. Step forward in research into new treatments for brain edema
6. University of Alberta led research may have discovered how memories are encoded in our brains
7. Nanotherapy: Treating deadly brain tumors by delivering big radiation with tiny tools
8. Friendly to a fault, yet tense: Personality traits traced in brain
9. New discoveries about brain-hand connection sought to improve therapies, treatments, prosthetics
10. Autism risk gene linked to differences in brain structure
11. Amyloid beta in the brain of individuals with Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K ... Commission. ... 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s ... the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 No two people are ... the New York University Tandon School of Engineering ... found that partial similarities between prints are common ... mobile phones and other electronic devices can be ... vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the ... is the primary factor for the growth of the ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem ... technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... --  Montrium , a growing leader in Electronic Trial Master ... groundbreaking non-profit research organization, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). ... MAPS Public Benefit ... ... to MDMA for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). MAPS ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... West Lafayette, Ind (PRWEB) , ... ... ... part of AMRI’s Global Analytical Services, formally introduces its flexible scientist program ... that offers volume-based, preferred-rate pricing. The FSP, which combines SSCI’s extensive project-based ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... Brisbane, Australia (PRWEB) , ... September 14, 2017 ... ... the first viscoelastic Freedom Lumbar Disc case in Australia. Dr. Steven Yang completed ... radiating pain as a result of a degenerative lumbar disc at level L5-S1. ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... , ... September 13, 2017 , ... ... the life sciences industry to improve patient outcomes and quality of life for ... impurities, has been named a US expert to the International Standards Organization/Technical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: