It is commonly thought we only use 10% of our brain. This idea has been challenged by several scientists, but there may now be a way to guarantee we are using our brain to its full potential.
Researchers at Stanford University, California, may have found a way to return the brain to a child-like state in order to aid learning.
The experts interfered with a protein found in animal brain cells called PirB. The altered protein allowed the brain make new connections more quickly - like a child.
The PirB molecule stabilises neural conditions.
"PirB acts like the brakes on a car. PirB slows the ability of synapses to strengthen, and even promotes their weakening, which in the correct proportion is necessary because without this brake action, consequences like epilepsy could be triggered," Medical Daily explains.
During the Stanford study - conducted by Professor Carla Shatz, Dr. David Bochner and Richard Sapp - the PirB molecule was shut down in some of the test animals by a new drug which represses its function.
A genetic method was also used to turn off the PirB receptor at different points of development in some of the animals.
The study found that animals who had the the PirB molecule manipulated could more easily recover from damage, rewire and learn new skills - effectively making them smarter.
“To me, this is amazing because what this is saying is that it is possible to induce new synapses in adult brains,” said Professor Shatz.
H/T: The Independent.