One dose of psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in magic mushrooms, increases dendritic spine density within 24 hours. The neurobiological changes lasted for a month following psilocybin exposure. Additionally, mice subjected to stress showed behavioral improvements and increased neurotransmitter activity after psilocybin exposure.
Using a snap-freezing method, researchers have been able to reveal the true structure of the connections that join neurons together in the adult brain.
A clusterization approach allows researchers to analyze dendritic spines in new ways.
Researchers have made an important discovery about the mechanisms behind learning and memory. Depending on the number of synapses, and their proximity, information is processed and stored differently.
Neurons created as a result of adult neurogenesis mature for longer and grow larger than those created during infancy. Findings suggest adult-born neurons may have a more powerful function than those created during infancy and may play a critical role in neuroplasticity.
Computational power is amplified in the brain by newly discovered action potentials in dendrites.
Genetic mutations in Usp9X results in the brain growing fewer synapses during development. The mutation also causes hyperactivity and an increased risk of anxiety. The findings shed new light on the cause of autism and other intellectual disabilities.
New memories are laid down via different mechanisms in older mice compared to younger mice. Additionally, synaptic changes linked to new memory formation were harder to modify in older mice.
A lack of oxygen as a result of preterm birth does not cause hippocampal neurons to die but does impair hippocampal development. Hypoxia causes hippocampal cells to fail to mature normally, causing a reduction in long-term potentiation and impaired learning.
From researching the microbiome and immune system to nociception, scientists are looking beyond the nervous system to gain a better understanding of neurological and mental health disorders.