“Our brain continues to develop longer than we thought,” states Ph.D. pupil Dorien van Blooijs.
According to latest findings from the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht), our mind’s decline happens later than beforehand believed. The research, revealed in Nature Neuroscience, reveals that the decline happens between the ages of 30 and 40, as an alternative of after our 25th birthday.
Dorien van Blooijs, a medical technologist, and Frans Leijten, a neurologist, collaborated with colleagues from each UMC Utrecht and the Mayo Clinic to conduct a research on the getting old strategy of our mind’s processing velocity.
The researchers found, amongst different issues, that the connections in our brains turn into more and more quicker: from two meters per second in kids aged 4 to 4 meters per second in individuals aged between thirty and forty. A doubling, in different phrases. Only after that age does it decelerate. “Our brain continues to develop a lot longer than we thought,” Van Blooijs mentioned.
The researchers additionally see variations between mind areas. The frontal lobe, the entrance a part of our mind answerable for pondering and performing duties, develops longer than an space answerable for motion. Van Blooijs explains, “We already knew this thanks to previous research, but now we have concrete data.” The growth of velocity just isn’t a straight line, however moderately a curve.
The researchers obtained the information by making exact measurements utilizing an electrode grid that some epilepsy sufferers get positioned on their brains (below the cranium) in preparation for epilepsy surgical procedure. The grid consists of 60-100 electrodes that may measure mind exercise. “By stimulating the electrodes using short currents, we can see which brain areas respond abnormally. Thus, we can create a map of which areas should and should not be removed during epilepsy surgery,” Leijten mentioned.
The proven fact that the information may additionally educate the researchers one thing about how our mind works was a brand new perception. “We have been collecting this data for about 20 years,” Leijten mentioned. “It wasn’t until a few years ago that we realized we could use the unaffected areas as a model for the healthy human brain.”
Van Blooijs provides: “If you stimulate an electrode in one area, a reaction occurs in another. That lets you know the two areas are connected. You can then measure how long it takes for the reaction to occur. If you know the distance between the two different brain regions, you can calculate how fast the signal is transmitted.”
Better laptop fashions
The outcomes of this research present necessary details about our central nervous system. Scientists have lengthy been making an attempt to map the connections in our brains. With this data, specialists could make extra life like laptop fashions of our brains.
For these fashions to work, along with details about the connections, exact values in regards to the velocity of these connections are wanted. “We now have these numbers for the very first time,” Leijten explains, “With our data, researchers can make new and better computer models that increase our understanding of the brain. We expect our work to not only advance epilepsy research but also research into other brain disorders.”
Open to progress
With this publication in Nature Neuroscience, all information has turn into publicly accessible. This is known as Open Science and it implies that researchers from everywhere in the world can use the information. Leijten: “By participating in research, patients contribute to progress. The knowledge we gain can be used to better treat future patients.” Van Blooijs will obtain her doctorate on the finish of this yr. She says, “A lot is possible with this data, more than we can do. I’m curious to see what kind of research all the creative people around the world will come up with.”
Reference: “Developmental trajectory of transmission speed in the human brain” by Dorien van Blooijs, Max A. van den Boom, Jaap F. van der Aar, Geertjan M. Huiskamp, Giulio Castegnaro, Matteo Demuru, Willemiek J. E. M. Zweiphenning, Pieter van Eijsden, Kai J. Miller, Frans S. S. Leijten and Dora Hermes, 9 March 2023, Nature Neuroscience.