Strengthening the Connections of Brain Cells and Memory

A lot of students from around the world wish to be able to have strong memories. Studying will take up times and there will be a lot of things to be memorized. Is there anything can be done? There is one thing that can be done, sleep after a study. The recent study by researchers from NYU Langone center shows that sleep after studying will encourage dendritic spines’ growth. What are dendritic spines? These are the tiny protrusions of the brain cells that connect to the other cells of brain and facilitate information passage across the synapses. These are the junctions where brain cells meet each other.

It is also stated that the activity of the brain cells during a sleep period or during the slow-waved sleep after studying will be crucial for the growth. Researchers found that in mice, there is very strong evidence to this new fact. For a long time, researches and even many people know that sleep actually plays the really important role in both learning also in the memory. However, the knowledge about the cause for this phenomenon has yet to be discovered until the day this research is conducted and showing a positive result.

The professor of physiology and neuroscience, Wen-Biao Gan, PhD stated that without sleep, a study can’t be done very well. Finding the connection between sleep and the good memory is quite puzzling because there are several types of studying and will form the different branches from the very similar neurons. That means, a learning process will cause the more specific changes of structural within the brain. How does studying related to good memory? The secret lies in brain cells that will stay awake during a sleep. These brain cells will replay the newly acquired information. This process is known as slow-wave sleep or brain waves. When it finally calms down, various things will stop as well. The things here include dreaming and rapid-eye movement.

A lot of scientists hold faith in the role of nocturnal replay by brain in helping to memorize things. However, the very structure about this process still remains unknown. A further study might be able to discover about it furthermore. Dr. Gan and the colleagues employed genetically engineered mice in order to express the fluorescent protein within neurons. By using the special microscope equipped with laser scanning, the glowing fluorescent will be easily tracked. The mice are gradually able to spin faster by learning how to balance themselves on spinning rod.

After watching and documenting the mice, scientists begin to understand that sleep might impact the physical growth. The two sets of mice are separated in the study. The first group is trained on spinning rod for one hour and then sleep for 7 hours. The second group is trained on spinning rod for one hour but remain awake for 7 hours. The result is the first groups learn faster because the rate of dendritic spine growth is considerably good especially when being compare to the second group.

Now that something new has been learned, neuron will always grow new connections within one specific branch inside of the brain. The cells of brain in the motor cortex will be reactivated when sleeping. If this process is being disrupted, the growth of dendritic spine will be interrupted. The findings are important insight to the neuronal replay and its crucial function for the brain. Therefore, sleeping after a study will be something good and even recommended if one wishes to be able to gain better memories of the better learning process. The application will lead to a better brain growth and ability.

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