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我的大脑是静止的还是动态的?

所属:听力板块 来源:普特英语听力 阅读:2320 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:科学家们过去常常认为,大脑因为其复杂性而呈现出静止状态。一旦成熟,大脑基本上就会停止生长和变化。当神经元或大脑细胞丢失或损坏时,大脑就会坏死掉。

Is My Brain Static Or Constantly Changing?



Scientists used to think that for all its complexity, the brain was pretty static. Once the brain matured, it essentially stopped growing and changing. And when neurons, or brain cells, were lost or damaged, they were gone for good.

But recent discoveries have caused neuroscientists to change their tune. The human brain is anything but static–in fact, it’s constantly growing and changing as it adapts to new information and circumstances.

For example, scientists now know that there’s a mechanism in the hippocampus a brain part involved with memory, among other things that gives birth to new brain cells. Scientists don’t know exactly why the brain makes new cells or what the cells do. They may have something to do with forming memories, or be used to replace dead or damaged cells.

In any case, in a recent experiment, scientists working with mice shut down their brains’ ability to make new cells. At first, the researchers observed that the mice had reduced functioning in cellular mechanisms in the brain important for memory formation.

But after about six weeks, they noticed that the mice’s brains had begun to compensate by making existing neurons more active. Relatively newborn neurons created before the researchers shut down the neuron birthing process reacted by living longer than they normally would–almost as though they knew that replacements would not be forthcoming and so they had to work overtime to help the brain get back on course.

This research is of the most basic, foundational kind. But knowing more about how the brain responds to changes could eventually have profound implications for how doctors understand and treat Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other brain illnesses.


我的大脑是静止的还是不断变化的?


科学家们过去常常认为,大脑因为其复杂性而呈现出静止状态。一旦成熟,大脑基本上就会停止生长和变化。当神经元或大脑细胞丢失或损坏时,大脑就会坏死掉。

但是最近的发现让神经学家改变了看法。人类的大脑绝不是静止的——事实上,它是随着对新信息和新环境的适应不断生长和变化的。

举个例子来说,现在科学家们知道大脑内存在一种叫做海马体的记忆机制,可以产成新的大脑细胞。但是,科学家们不能确切地知道大脑为什么能生成新细胞,而这些细胞又能做什么。它们可能和形成记忆有关,或者被用于代替老去或损坏的细胞。

不管怎样,在最近的一次实验中,科学家们用老鼠进行实验,他们消除了这些老鼠们大脑生成新细胞的能力。起初,研究人员观测到,老鼠大脑中对记忆生成非常重要的细胞机制的功能降低了。

但是大约六周之后他们又发现,老鼠的大脑通过使现有的神经元变得更加活跃从而弥补之前的损失。相对地,在研究人员阻止神经元生成之前生成的神经元比一般生成的存活更长——就好像它们知道自己不会被很快代替,所以它们必须延时工作来帮助大脑回到正轨上。

这项研究是最为基础的研究。但是,对大脑是如何变化的了解越多,就会对医生了解与治疗老年痴呆症、痴呆和其它大脑疾病产生更为深远的意义。

标签:听力文摘
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2012-03-21 20:04 编辑:pliny
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