How do organisms evolve into individuals that are distinguished from others by their own personal brain structure and behaviour? Scientists in Dresden, Berlin, Münster, and Saarbrücken have now taken a decisive step towards clarifying this question.
In an environment with many stimuli, mice experience it differently. In one mouse (right) it leads to many new neurons (black dots), while in another mouse (left), significantly fewer new neurons develop.
© CRTD / DZNE / Freund
Using mice as an animal model, they were able to show that individual experiences influence the development of new neurons, leading to measurable changes in the brain. The results of this study are published in Science on May 10th. The DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden - Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden (CRTD), the Dresden site of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin played a pivotal role in the study.The adult brain continues to grow with the challenges that it faces; its changes are linked to the development of personality and behaviour. But what is the link between individual experience and brain structure? Why do identical twins not resemble each other perfectly even when they grew up together? To shed light on these questions, the scientists observed forty genetically identical mice that were kept in an enclosure offering a large variety of activity and exploration options.
ContactProf. Dr. Gerd Kempermann
Prof. Dr. Gerd Kempermann | GFZ Potsdam
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