You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here’s How …

from TED

Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing the decline associated with aging along the way.

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30 Responses to You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here’s How …

  1. Joshua Deibel October 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    It’s amazing how much we continue to learn more and more about ourselves and how our body works. The brain is one of the most complex parts of the body that is constantly changing. Just as the article states, “We constantly generate new brain cells even as adults”. That to me is just fascinating how years ago the study of neuroscience said that we stop gaining new brain cells when we reach a certain age. Science is always changing and so is the study of it.
    Scientists have always stated that drinking alcohol kills brain cells for good, but now with good exercise and a correct way of eating, its possible to gain back brain cells while you’re still aging. Looks like its time for us to start taking light jogs at night around the block and eating the right way instead of over dieting ourselves with the diet craze.

  2. Brigid Minue October 10, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Everyday, people learn something new for their brain. This concept seems similar to what the article is saying that every brain grows brain cells. From this concept, the growing brain cells brings new intelligence. For instance, the new apps for critical thinking helps the brain to develop. These types of apps are advertised sometimes were the app helps the brain. Some apps make the brain intelligent to cause the brain to grow more brain cells.

    The concept of the brain growing new brain cells is not only explained through apps of critical thinking. This concept seems similar to the developing of a child. As the child grows, he or she learns something everyday. As they learn something from school, they develop new intelligence in their brain like a new brain cell. In conclusion, the new brain cells that are develop in the brain seems similar to new intelligence learned everyday by the brain of one person.

  3. Anthony Hector October 14, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

    The general idea that is accepted about growing brain cells is that you cannot create new brain cells. There seems to be a new theory that might prove otherwise. New brain cells could increase our memory and just overall health of our brain. This is called Neurogenesis and the hippocampus has a unique structure that allows for the creating of new neurons. The new neurons helps with memories and the ability to hold memories. Neurogenesis can also involve depression because if it is blocked then depression is likely in the person because they do not have those new neurons being created. The ability to grow these new neurons can improve all aspects of our day-to-day lives because it has an impact on our health and the way we act. This TED talk reflects on the lifestyle of Humans today and does not really approve of the way people eat in terms of the effect it has on Neurogenesis. The belief with Neurogenesis is that it can help the overall health of a person and to help perform this process a person has to have a healthy lifestyle, which includes a healthy lifestyle. This is the belief that is accepted by everyone even before this thought of Neurogenesis because a healthy diet is one of the most important things that a person can have because the things that we put into our bodies effects everything that we do after in terms of feeling more active or more tired. A healthy lifestyle will make a person feel more invigorated and sharper than they were compared to a person who eats fatty, high in sugar foods. When a person eats fast food it effects every component of how they will feel because those foods to do promote anything in the human body in a positive way. So they are only going to make your body’s health get worse.
    Just in my personal experience I use to eat bad when I was a little kid, but when your young your body processes those fatty foods so quickly that a kid might a fat by eating fast food, but they might not necessarily feel all that bad. When I eat healthy in terms of having a balanced meal with protein and a little bit of carbs I feel great because I have all the vitamins that help with my daily lifestyle. That is the number one thing with a healthy diet because when a person has all the vitamins they need it can make a big impact on the way they feel because they are being fueled. With Neurogenesis it goes hand and hand with a healthy lifestyle because the vitamins that a person will get from that meal they are helping their overall health and will help their brain’s health as well.

  4. Stephen Gallic October 15, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Sandrine Thuret’s speech on neurogenesis is intriguing as it pertains to science and advancements related to neurogenesis but it also brings to light another key perspective. It shows just how little we truly know or understand about the human anatomy. In our day and age with all the technological advances we are still revising earlier standard beliefs and stumbling upon newfound ideas. In this particular case Sandrine Thuret has debunked the original belief that adults stop producing newborn neurons. Neurons are an essential part to our overall mood, emotion, and memory and the newborn production of these neurons is what keeps us in a positive and comprehensive state. Thuret states that by the time we are 50 “we will have all exchanged the neurons we were born with in that structure with adult-born neurons.”
    Now why is it important to understand the behaviors and facts about neurons? Well, what I gathered from the TED talk was not the importance of neurons when it comes to explaining a patients mood after being prescribed cancer medicine but the importance neurons play in memory. Thuret tells us that neurons play a key role in memory and that “neurons are not only important for memory capacity, but also for the quality of the memory. And they will have been helpful to add time to our memory and they will help differentiate very similar memories, like: how do you find your bike that you park at the station every day in the same area, but in a slightly different position?” Now that new results and understandings in science have resulted in better understanding of neuron function and behavior we might be able to apply this research to victims of Alzheimer’s or other memory loss diseases. Maybe neurons eventually do stop producing with age and the complete lack of production of these new neurons is what leads to these diseases. Every day, month, and year we as humans further our understanding of life itself. This is just one example of how this constant research and studies can help improve our lives. For example, Thuret also lists ways to increase production of new neurons. The new production of these neurons leads to increased happiness, greater and more precise memory, and overall greater health. Along with neurons relations to memory it also affects mood and as is well known depression is an epidemic our world is faced with on a massive scale. Educating people on the ways and science behind human elements such as neurons will allow them to take their own health in to their own hands.
    Even if we like to think we are omniscient beings our world is so vast and complex our understanding of life itself and how each aspect interacts with each other should constantly be challenged and investigated. It is due to scientists such as Sandrine Thuret that this research is possible, successful and hopefully this research will continue to improve along with our technology.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/sandrine_thuret_you_can_grow_new_brain_cells_here_s_how/transcript?language=en#t-61948

  5. Lauren Gutowski October 15, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

    With science being one of my weaker subjects, Sandrine Thuret’s presentation helped me understand better how the human brain works and what action someone could take if they are motivated to improve their memory. Her correlation with depression post-cancer free and neurogenesis is something most people have probably never heard before; not only this but her TED presentation provides concrete evidence of HOW they relate to one another. Some people may believe they cannot increase the working efficiency of the hippocampus and/or increase neurons of the brain but Ms. Thuret begs to differ.


    Some examples the speaker provides regarding how people can increase neurogenesis are surprising while other examples are more so common knowledge. I never knew stress put the production of neurons on a less than steady pace. It is actually oddly funny because most college students have a huge amount of stress during at least one period of their academic careers but learning derives from good mental health and content. So could college actually pan out counterproductive to intellectual growth? Well, this is dependent on the person and is a very subjective question but I believe stress has some sort of negative contribution to neuron production. In relation to stress, Sandrine brings up sleeping habits as one way to decrease neurogenesis. There is no question whether sleep deprivation inhibits the ability for humans to make connections through their daily routine. Everyone knows how it feels to lack a good night’s rest and how unpleasant their entire day is: barely keeping eyes open, low concentration, an almost cloudy feeling in their head, feeling somewhat depressed as well. A minimum of eight hours of sleep was not an arbitrary decision made by researchers or recommendation from others. Those hours are crucial for recharging the brain after a long days of work. How can the brain continue its productivity if it is not given a good rest?

    Diet is another serious factor attributing to gaining more neurons that many people tend to overlook. I don’t know about most people but when I make a binge eating run to Taco Bell with my friend, my brain feels like a vegetable— a “food coma” is how some put it. Fifty years ago a.k.a. Pre-McDonalds days, fatty food did not have its prevalence as it does today. It is much easier than ever before to veer off the path of a healthy lifestyle and consume these innutritious foods only depleting the brain’s performance. This is followed by the amount of exercise (if any exercise actually) people put time in their day for. The TED speaker points out with actual visual evidence of how runners’ brains manufacture more neurons than someone who barely or never exercises. So there is no doubt about her claim about that and plus can be supported by people frequently engaged in physical activity; most would say, including myself, they think much clearer and feel better after having a solid workout. Even when their day is over they actually have a better night’s sleep. All of Sandrine’s reasons and examples of how to increase neurogenesis’s productivity should be taken into account by all the human race.

  6. Daniel Kelly October 16, 2015 at 12:19 am #

    I should like to say that now I am very interested in eating crunchier, more textured meals. Among a few other suggestions made by the French advocate of Neural Genesis studies. Though I had studied very primitive psychology some years ago, the field has advanced far beyond where I left it in sophomore year and moved, in a much greater sense, into the biological underpinnings of psychological issues. The idea that we could actively support new brain cell production in the reduction of depression is far more helpful than the inhibitor style drugs we currently use. Rather, in addition to anti-depressant pills we can scientifically determine what would help eradicate the issue of clinical depression through healthy smart living. It is no longer science fiction that we can drastically alter the human mind, it is something that we practice on a daily basis and science is simply there now to help us make ourselves more efficient. I, for one, welcome my new scientific overlords and while I am actually kidding, it is absolutely wonderful to see them working outside of the box to bring out the best in human accomplishment. Much of the news has been rather depressing this past year and its nice to know that something productive is still happening, even if its discovering that sex and good food make people happy. In truth, the work of the good Doctor will help revolutionize the way we treat depression and perhaps many other mental disorders, or at least in treating them. Will we learn that certain types of engagement with autistic children will improve their ability to form social ties. I suspect that such things are already being pioneered and refined which makes me rather proud of the scientific advancement of the western world. It finally feels like I am living in the 21st century instead of just being told that I am.
    While listening I was wondering if the aging process itself could be slowed down through these methods, if man could finally control mentally what he has not been able to do physically. By practicing scientifically designed good health and practice, will we be able to slow down mental decay in Altztimers patients or help rebuilt the completely mentally disabled. Namely those who have already had the connections and lost them due to disease or injury. Will it be possible to rebuilt and revitalize the practically brain dead or mentally challenged through the willful manipulation of neural genesis. One would hope, certainly if we can rebuild our brain the speedy process thereof might help those disabled through accidents. Such limitless possibilities exist though I am personally banking on more cybernetic connectivity and having my brain in a jar. It would be wonderful to sit on a shelf mindlessly engaging the world until such time my expertise is needed though it brings up the issue of immortality. Speaking of abstract philosophical concepts, I am reminded of a Greek myth, the ship of Theseus that state the premise as such; I will leave the discussion on it. A ship belonging to Theseus is damaged in battle or some such series of events requiring that parts of it need to be replaced. Eventually every single part of the ship, sail, brass and all need to be replaced. The philosophers of the world have used this as a kind of mental quandary. They ask themselves, if every part of the ship has been replaced- is it the same ship? The answer to which is obviously everybody has their own thoughts on the manner but this story reminded me of it. Are we literally rebuilding every part of our brain over the course of our life, if so- are we the same person?

  7. Darren Williams October 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    Sandrine Thuret introduces a topic of Neuro Genesis that I was not previously familiar with, but wonder greatly about now. The main question I have is how neuro genesis could possibly effect persons already in their older age and those who are on their way to joining them if all they partake in all of the activities that increase neuro genesis. I am sure that the majority of us “millennials” have experienced someone of an older generation asking us for help with technology. Technology is advancing every day, from phones to laptops to televisions to even our cars and they can’t always keep up. Growing up in the age of technology has given us millennials the ability to adapt and learn how the new technology works with no problem. However, not growing up with this new technology has resulted in a major gap as far as being up to date on how it all works. Whether it be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or stranger we’ve all been asked how to work something and not just once but many times even for the same thing. When my grandparents first got their IPods, I set up their ITunes for them and showed them how to download music and make playlists and things of that sort. The thing is though that, no matter how many times I show them, I am still reminding them how to do the exact same things on ITunes to this day, many years later. It doesn’t stop their though that is just the basics. Televisions now are rarely just to watch what is broadcasted on the networks and in some cases not even at all anymore. That being said in order to use it for the various other abilities such as Netflix, video games and even web browsing, other devices must be connected to it adding on to the list of things necessary to know in order to use each capability of the TV. Those two examples are just entertainment and granted entertainment is a big part of our lives but one can get around technology for entertainment but transportation is a different story. The majority of cars rolling off the lots for the past five plus years now at least, are computers on wheels. The capabilities cars have to connect to the internet is remarkable but also adds complexity to what used to be a simple task of driving a car. From using the GPS to get around, to abiding by the new telephone laws while driving and playing music with Bluetooth. All of these new advancements are a lot to remember for individuals who are just being introduced to it now and that is a key point Thuret is hitting on. Neuro genesis is responsible for generating the brain cells and neurons responsible for remembering and learning daily. Although the influx of new cells won’t automatically enable people who are unfamiliar with the technology to pick it up and immediately understand it, if they have an increased amount of these cells the likelihood they will pick up the new skills quicker will increase. Overall, increasing neuro genesis should be a goal for everyone just to improve their way of life in general.

  8. Isabel Goodman October 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    This TED talk really demonstrates how everything in the body is connected and related. Sadrene Thuret tells the audience about Neurogenesis and how they can promote the generation of new neurons even as they age. New neurons are generated in the hippocampus, which is a region of the brain that Is important for memory development, learning, mood, and emotion. Here 700 new neurons are generated every day, and while that does not seem like much she says, they are incredibly useful so each new one is important. These neurons are important for learning and memory. And more than that, the quality of memory. Neurons are also responsible for helping with depression. When given anti-depressants, the person is allowing more neurons to grow and help in fighting their mood and emotions. Without these neurons, they would have a much harder time fighting their depression. Neurons are important which is why it is important to recognize how to increase neuron growth and not hinder it through everyday activities. Sadrene Thuret plays a game with the audience where she asks them whether the activity she states would increase neuron growth or decrease it. The activities she listed were learning, stress, sleep deprivation, sex, getting older, and running. Of those, learning, sex, and running increased neuron growth and stress, sleep deprivation, and getting older decreased neuron growth. With this information, the audience and also those watching the TED talk on their computers realize what they can do to improve their own lives. By doing the activities that increase neuron growth, they will have more neurons, which will lead to better memory and learning ability. What people need to realize, which I learned from this TED talk is that what we do affects our body on a molecular level. Everything is connected so even if, as college students, we think we can stay up all night with no long-term consequences, we are wrong. Everything we do affects us in the long-term so the sooner we do the right things to increase neurogenesis, the better. The older we get, the slower neurogenesis occurs in our bodies. With this in mind, the activities to stimulate neurogenesis should be followed more by those who need it, but there is no reason why kids in college shouldn’t either. Being aware of our bodies and how everything connects is important and useful as we age and our bodies deteriorate. The sooner we start to care about our bodies, the better off we will be once neurogenesis slows and our memory and learning fades as a result.

  9. Dana Guittari October 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    Well first off I want to say that I love TED talks, and I think Sandrine Thuret did a great job explaining neurogenesis and what we can do to increase the production of neurons in our own brains. “By the time we will turn 50 we will have all exchanged the neurons we were born with in that structure with adult neurons.” Sandrine explains that even though the hippocampus isn’t rapidly creating new neurons, they are doing so at such a rate that by the time we turn 50 years old, all our original neurons will be replaced with adult-generated ones. Generating new neurons will increase memory capacity and memory quality, and help us easier be able to differentiate memories. She gave the example of how someone who parks their car in the same area, but not same spot, every day is able to remember where they parked their car. I should probably do more activities that will increase neurogenesis because I can never remember where in the parking garage I parked my car.
    Although science has never been my strong suit, I’ve always been interested in science, especially when it comes to the human brain. It’s crazy to me that scientists are actually able to find where in the brain neurogenesis arises from and what people do that increase or decrease the production of neurons. It makes perfect sense that stress, sleep deprivation, and aging would have a negative effect on the amount of neurons produced. Those factors have a negative effect on a lot of different aspects of your body. Good diet, exercise, and a healthy sex life show an increase in neurogenesis. Doctors always emphasize how diet and exercise have a healthy effect on your body, but they don’t mention the healthy effect it has on your brain. I found it interesting when Sandrine showed the pictures back to back of a normal person’s brain generating new neurons compared to a runner’s brain generating new neurons and just how drastic of a change it was. That made me really happy to be a runner. Healthy diets that aren’t high in saturated fats are also important to increase neurogenesis. Unfortunately I’m not the healthiest of people, but I do love blueberries, dark chocolate, and red wine – which Sandrine stated are some of the best foods for neurogenesis – so hopefully I’ll be okay.
    One of the coolest things about this video, to me at least, was the fact that another scientist working with Sandrine was completely unaware of neurogenesis. Scientists are constantly learning new things about our bodies and our brains, and they’re sharing their knowledge with each other. Science and technology have come so far just in the twenty years that I have been alive, I can’t imagine where it will be within the next twenty years. And people know so much more now about how to live longer, happier, healthier lives so that will just continue. With people becoming more aware about neurogenesis and the ways to increase neuron production in their own brains they can increase their own memories and improve their own moods.

  10. Joseph Belli October 16, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Sandrine Thuret’s Ted Talk described the process of neurogenesis and stressed the relationship between neurogenesis and how you care for yourself. Neurogenesis is the process of one’s brain creating more neurons in the hippocampus- the home for our ability to learn, remember moments and information, and control our mood and emotion. Neurons are the specialized cell that is essentially the building block of the nervous system, allowing us to do everything we do. The neurons produced in the hippocampus are what control all of those abilities I listed above. Therefore, when there is a shortage of neurons in the hippocampus, it can cause a person to be less likely to remember specific and sometimes important information or be unable to control emotions, becoming depressed. Antidepressants essentially increase the process of neurogenesis in the hippocampus to reverse the feelings of depression. A common misconception in science is that adults cannot reproduce neurons. While the rate of neuron production decreases with age, an average of 700 new neurons are produced in the brain for day. This may not seem like a lot due to the millions upon millions of neurons already in our body, however, by the age of 50, all of the neurons we were born with would be replaced with new neurons. Like I mentioned before, neurogenesis rate does decrease with age, so, does that mean that there is no way to increase it? No. Thuret’s main point of her Ted Talk was to inform her audience on how to improve neurogenesis. The one that stands out to me the most is that exercising increases neurogenesis. When I was a sophomore and junior in high school, I was very active: weightlifting five to six times a week and maintaining a steady cardio routine. I noticed my productivity and ability to remember information increased in these two years compared to freshman year when I was not as active. My grades went up dramatically and my overall performance was improved. Then, the summer going into my senior year, I stopped weightlifting because I had gotten a job working at a restaurant with very demanding and inconsistent hours, leaving very little time in my schedule to work out. As school started up again, I continued to work which limited my schedule even more. While I was not working out as often as I had been, I began to find myself getting lazier and being more tired throughout the day. Also, my grades and total effort towards school started to slip as I found myself waiting until last minute to complete assignments. This directly correlates to the amount of neurons that were being produced in my brain while I was working out and when I stopped working out. Another key factor to improving neurogenesis is maintaining a healthy diet. While this may be slightly more obvious, a piece of information that surprised me was that the texture of the food actually has an effect too. Thuret says that soft foods that do not require as much chewing slow the process of neurogenesis while hard and crunchy food speed up the process. Needless to say, I will now be focusing on taking greater care of my body as that will directly benefit my overall performance in school.

  11. Ryan Hardrove October 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    After watching this video I found it to be interesting that we could create new brain cells. With new brain cells we can have better memories, our moods would be better, we can make people who are diagnosed with depression better with this science called Neurogenesis. What is Neurogenesis? Well, Neurogenesis is basically the creation of new neutrons. The new neutrons helps with memories and this can be a new way for health moving forward into the future. This video showed me that we are still unlocking amazing things about the human brain that we never even thought about. Just the idea, that by creating more neutrons in our brain with certain choices we make in our everyday lives is fascinating. A good diet, exercise, and a healthy sex life show an increase in neurogenesis. Doctors always emphasize how diet and exercise have a healthy effect on your body, but they don’t mention the healthy effect it has on your brain. I found it interesting when Sandrine showed the pictures back to back of a normal person’s brain generating new neurons compared to a runner’s brain generating new neurons and just how drastic of a change it was. Now, me being a swimmer makes it a difference because this video does show with good eating habits and good exercise you can have a healthy body but also a healthy mind as well. I think this is an important discovery for science because this can make an impact on so many people in their daily lives it can increase their mind, body, and emotional levels that they could experience like if you would to suffer from depression. This is an amazing discovery in the science world and this is something that can be used now, and also in the future where it can make a difference for people around the world.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/sandrine_thuret_you_can_grow_new_brain_cells_here_s_how?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2015-10-10&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=talk_of_the_week_image#t-599918

  12. Cai Johnson October 16, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    So tomorrow are they going to tell us that are brain cells don’t actually die? Science is so unpredictable and you can’t ever tell if something is concrete. At one it was certain that by the time I was in my mid twenties my brain would begin to deteriorate. Now if I keep working out and continue to eat correctly my brain will reproduce cells. New discoveries like this are great, but they also make it hard to be trusting of science. I read a billboard recently that said the average life expectancy is moving closer to 100. At this point I’m not sure what to believe. I’ll take suggestions about how to maintain my health along the way. It’s nice to know that I can watch as much SpongeBob as I’d like to without killin my brain.

  13. Joseph Dilley October 16, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    With neurogenesis, adults still have the ability to grow and develop new neurons in the brain. I find that incredible, that 50-60 year old adults have the ability to develop neurons. The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. The brain controls everything that we as humans do, whether it be eating, sleeping, even thinking the brain has complete control. I find it incredible the concepts or abilities we can discover about the human brain. Neuroscience has come so far and is only going to become more advance. If only 10% of the human brain is utilized, imagine if humans could utilize all 100% of our brain?
    Since new neurons are being produced during learning and activities that stimulate the brain, it is very feasible to believe that physical activity could potentially develop more neurons as well. Science is quickly becoming very advance and sooner rather than later will humans fully understand the true potential of the human brain. I found it interesting that the foods we digest will either help or hurt the neurons we develop. Especially the omega-3 fatty acids which significantly helped with the development of neurons.

  14. Ryan Jolluck October 16, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    I have always been taught that at some point in our early lives we stop growing brain cells. And these cells can be killed off, permanently damaging the brain, and that heavy drinking has been shown to be an effective way at damaging the brain. I am surprised to learn about neurogenesis. Neuron cells are constantly being formed and by the time we “turn 50, we will have all exchanged the neurons we were born with in that structure with adult-born neurons”. According to the article the “hippocampus… is important for learning, memory, mood and emotion. However, what we have learned more recently is that this is one of the unique structures of the adult brain where new neurons can be generated”. It is amazing and fantastic that we can continually discover new things about the human brain. I am reminded of a quote by Ian Stewart that “if our brains were simple enough for us to understand them, we’d be so simple that we couldn’t”. Scientists have learned that neurogenesis can be controlled. And learning, stress, sex, and sleep can affect it. The production of will be continuous throughout our lives but will decrease over time. What a person eats and drinks will also have an effect. The “intake of flavonoids, which are contained in dark chocolate or blueberries, will increase neurogenesis. Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fatty fish, like salmon, will increase the production of these new neurons” and a “diet rich in high saturated fat will have a negative impact on neurogenesis”. Alcohol “will decrease neurogenesis”, but “resveratrol, which is contained in red wine, has been shown to promote the survival of these new neurons”. When it comes to exercise anything involved in “moving the blood flow to the brain, should be beneficial”. The brain is one of the most mysterious part of the human body. This sort of discovery can open an interesting future. Will we be able to artificially manufacture these neurons, or develop a way for the body to create more neurons? Science is a constantly changing field and has always created developments to benefit humanity. Hopefully this will create a new breakthrough into the understanding of the human brain.

  15. Samantha R October 16, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    As a child, one can attest to a time when he or she was told not to do something because it was going to “kill their brain cells”. I can recall being told this when I would hold my breath under water too long or take in helium from a balloon when told not to. I have come to terms with the general concept that brain cells, once gone, cannot be recreated. According to Sandrine Thuret in her TED talk “You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how”, that is not the case anymore. It has been discovered that the human body does have the ability to create new brain cells as an adult. The brain has the capability to do this because the hippocampus, a sub area of the brain, is part of the structure of another area where neurons are generated.
    Thuret says 700 new neurons are produced in the hippocampus daily, which is important for our overall emotional state and memory. I found her TED talk fascinating to listen to. The brain is such a complexity all on its own and continues to provide surprises in research. I have always been intrigued by the inner workings of the brain because it is something so invaluable that sometimes can be taken for granted. Sandrine at one point in her talk emphasizes the importance of keeping a healthy lifestyle, referring to the fact that activity increases the amount of neurons created. This was demonstrated by the pictures showing the comparisons of the active and non-active mice. I saw a significant difference in the two pictures, making me want to put more effort in having running become part of my daily routine. This discovery can truly change the lives of many, causing a positive impact around the world. It is crucial to share this information in the hopes for a better future in mental health discovery.

  16. Bria Mosely October 23, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

    This is only the second TED talk I have seen and I found both to be extremely interesting. I have always found myself curious about the human brain and what causes certain things to happen. Taking science classes growing up, I always heard that everything would stop growing around the age of 18, 21-22 for boys. I would have to agree with my classmate in that science is ever-changing, and with the technology who knows where it will end.
    It seemed as though the few ways an adult can actually grow new brain cells can be summarized as simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting sufficient hours of sleep, keeping a decent diet, and having a regular sex life can lead to the increasing production of cells. I liked the example Thuret used of being able to recall where you parked your car. When I come to Rider’s campus every morning it is so hard to find a parking spot, so every day I am parking in a different area. I can be away from my car for hours and recall exactly where I parked. It is relieving to know I am doing something that actually helps my memory and creates new brain cells

  17. Matthew Flanagan October 30, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

    It has always been a fact that the nerve cells that you are born with are the only ones you get. The body cannot make new nerve cells or heal damaged ones. There is new evidence that this century old theory is wrong. There is new research that has been conducted by Sandrine Thuret, that there is a new theory called Neuro Genesis. The theory shows that new neurons are made in a section of the brain called the hippocampus, the section of the brain that is responsible for learning, memory, mood, and emotion. Neuro synthesis is done in the hippocampus.
    It is widely known that the way we eat has a lot to do with how we feel. If we constantly eat junk food, we will not feel very good. If we always eat healthy, then we will always feel good. What we eat does not just make us feel good or bad because it is better for our bodies, but because good food promotes neuro genesis. And as a result of the new neurons, mood improves because the hippocampus is responsible for emotions. Anything that promotes the synthesis of neurons in the hippocampus will promote a good mood.
    Because medications that kill cancer cells also kill other cells in the boy, people experience severe depression after being cured of cancer. Because the medication kills cells in the hippocampus, it stops neuro synthesis which causes depression. This is more evidence supporting that the production of neurons improves mood and which is why things that promote neuro synthesis make you feel good and things that do not promote neuro synthesis make you feel depressed or not in a good mood.
    There are also habits that can effect one’s mood because they either improve or don’t improve neuro synthesis. The activities that Thuret says improve neuro synthesis are reading, sex, and running. So the stimulation and use of the brain increase neuro synthesis, improving one’s mood. Also sex and other forms of physical activities improve neuro synthesis, further improving mood. Things that do not promote neuro synthesis are stress, lack of sleep, and old age. Age cannot be avoided, but the effects of age can be offset by exercise and mental stimulation. A lack of sleep is understandable because the brain does not get enough time to repair and rest. I always feel terrible after only getting a few hours of sleep. Stress also makes the hippocampus create less neurons. Stress clearly puts us all into worse moods.
    This video has made me aware of something that I did not think was possible before. I used to think that neuro synthesis was impossible and something only an alien would have. This video has enlightened me on a whole new system of the body that I did not know before. I think it is very interesting that there is now a solid reason why we feel the way we feel after doing certain activities and eating certain things. I often though t to myself “why do I feel good after exercising even though it is painful?” Now I have an answer. I also now understand why my day goes so much smoother after a good night’s rest and why I feel better after eating healthy.

  18. Daria Chadwick November 1, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    One of my favorite aspects of science is the fact that there is always new material to be discovered, a hypothesis to be overturned, facts to be disproven, and all because of extensive research and rapid advancements in technology that provide the ability to discover all of this new material. I had never heard about neurogenesis before listening to this TED Talk, and was left intrigued. I had a lot of questions, and did some research in attempts to answer them.

    Sandrine Thuret mentioned depression during her presentation and the relationship it has with neurogenesis. More specifically, she mentioned that people who suffer with depression are more inclined to have lower levels of neurogenesis; that antidepressants increase the amount of newborn neurons; and, if neurogenesis is blocked, the efficacy of the antidepressant is also blocked.

    This noted, some of my questions included: how do people who suffer with depression reach the lower levels of neurogenesis in the first place; what exactly can block neurogenesis; and, in knowing this, is the medical community able to not only prevent depression, but reduce the amount of people taking antidepressants who fail to see any improvement, or potentially get worse, when using this medication?

    I did a lot of research into the science behind this, and the following is what I found.

    People who suffer with depression reach these lower levels of neurogenesis even before they become depressed. How? Not surprisingly, the answer is usually stress. A steroid hormone named Cortisol is produced in response to a stressor, meaning that people who are stressed are experiencing increased levels of cortisol. When the stress situation becomes chronic, the adrenal gland that produces cortisol becomes deficient and elevates corticotrophin-releasing hormone levels. These elevated levels can lead to increased problems in the nervous system, causing anxiety, sleep disturbances, eating disorders, and eventually may lead to clinical depression as a result of the chemical changes made by each of the aforementioned. These chemical changes and the elevated corticotrophin levels actually suppress the birth of neurons, along with also slowing regulation of serotonin receptors.

    Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that carries signals through synapses between neurons and affects mood and behavior. It is typically used within antidepressants to balance out serotonin levels for the patient. This is possible because increased levels of serotonin are able to suppress corticotrophin-releasing hormone levels, thus increasing the amount of neurons that can be born, and increasing the flow of serotonin between neurons.

    However, what Sandrine Thuret failed to mention was that although adults grow neurons every single day, many of these neurons also die not long after, usually on the same day. Research suggests it takes approximately 4-6 weeks for remaining neurons to actually become rooted in brain tissue and be effective in interacting with neurotransmissions, and this cannot occur effectively if intense chemical changes are present. Interestingly enough, it has also been observed that seeing results in people who take antidepressants usually takes around 4-6 weeks for an effect to show, given ideal conditions.

    For people that only take antidepressants but stay within the same environment, e.g. remain in the same level of stress, retain the same eating disorder habits, same anxiety levels, do not exercise, etc. then newborn neurons are still slow in their birth and die out quickly. In this case, antidepressants are unable to restore the regulation of the stress response and recovery becomes impossible, and in some cases, the side effects of antidepressants are all that show through for the patient – weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, decreased sex drive, etc. This further decreases the health of the patient and can lead to an even deeper depression. As Sandrine mentioned in her presentation, there are factors that can decrease neurogenesis, like inactivity, unhealthy foods, stress, and sleep deprivation. These factors need to be eliminated and replaced with factors that can increase neurogenesis – healthy diet, exercise, learning, and lots of sleep.

    The problem with this implementing these factors is that doing so requires a complete change of lifestyle, and often, people who are chronically depressed are barely able to function on a normal level (let alone muster up the ability to change many aspects of their lives in such significant ways). This is why I think depression seems to last so long. There are so many contributing factors to the illness that need to be changed, and all these things need to be done over so much time.

    I am glad that so much research is being done into the causes and possible cures for depression. After reading and beginning to understand some of the chemical mechanisms that create the lens in which we see the world, it saddens me that a sickness of the mind is not necessarily given the same level of attention as a sickness of the body. It saddens me even more that such illnesses, like depression, can often be misconstrued as being self-inflicted, that people just ‘feel sorry for themselves’ when it truly is a matter of chemical imbalance. I am looking forward to a future that seeks to prevent mental illness as much as possible, as a mind is such a terrible thing to waste.

    Works Cited

    http://www.ted.com/talks/sandrine_thuret_you_can_grow_new_brain_cells_here_s_how?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2015-10-10&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=talk_of_the_week_image

    Bergland, Christopher. “Cortisol: Why “The Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No. 1.” Psychology Today. PyschologyToday.com, 22 Jan. 2013. Web. .

    Dayer, A.G., Ford, A.A., Cleaver, K.M., Yassaee, M., Cameron, H.A. (2003). “Short-term and long-term survival of new neurons in the rat dentate gyrus”. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 460 (4): 563–572. doi:10.1002/cne.10675.

    Kandel, E. R., J. H. Schwartz and T. M. Jessell (2012-10-26).Principles of Neural Science, fifth edition. ISBN 0071390111.

    Schloesser RJ, Manji HK, Martinowich K (April 2009).”Suppression of adult neurogenesis leads to an increased hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis response.”. NeuroReport 20(6): 553–7. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283293e59 PMC 2693911. PMID 19322118.

    Toni, N., Teng, E.M., Bushong, E.A., Aimone, J.B., Zhao, C., Consiglio, A., van Praag, H., Martone, M.E., Ellisman, M.H. and Gage, F.H. (2007). “Synapse formation on neurons born in the adult hippocampus”. Nature Neuroscience 10 (6): 727–734.doi:10.1038/nn1908.

    Vivar, C., Potter, M.C., Choi, J., Lee, J., Stringer, T.P., Callawy, E.M., Gage, F.H., Suh, H., van Praag, H. (2012). “Monosynaptic inputs to new neurons in the dentate gyrus.”. Nature Communications 3 (3(1038)): 1107. doi:10.1038/ncomms2101.

  19. Nicole A November 4, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    I really found this talk to be fascinating. We are always told that having a healthy diet and working out is good for your body and will boost your mood. I’ve always was curious towards how exactly does your mood get affected. In this talk, I was able to figure out the science behind how diet and exercise affects the human brain. It’s truly amazing how intricate the brain is and how little we really understand about ourselves.
    It also makes me happy to know that as we grow older, we are still able to grow new neurons. When I was younger, I was told that I should learn as much as I can while I’m young because I won’t be able to learn things like languages; yet this Ted Talk proves otherwise. Perhaps learning new things will be more difficult, however it will still be possible to be continually learning whenever and whatever you’d want.
    The idea that we can actually control neuro-genesis inspires me to try to increase my growth of neurons. Not only will my body be healthier, but my brain can work as efficiently as it possibly can. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be able to learn more about the human brain and how it works. There is probably so much more to discover just about ourselves and the more we know, the more we’ll be able to improve ourselves and thrive.

  20. Kevin Schoenholz November 7, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    This TED talk starts with Sandrine Thuret recalling a conversation she had with an oncologist named Robert about patients that have been cured of cancer that still develop symptoms of depression. Sandrine says this makes sense because the drugs that stop the cancer also prevent neurogenesis from occurring. Robert is confused because he believed the myth that adults cannot generate new neurons anyway. Sandrine goes onto explain how the hippocampus is the part of the brain that controls learning, memory, mood and emotion. She explains that one of the unique functions of this part of the adult brain is that it can generate new neurons. She explains that the human adult brain can generate 700 new neurons a day and by the time we are 50 years old every neuron we are born with is replaced by a new one. The functions of these neurons are important because they help with memory capacity and help improve the quality of memories we retain. She also explains the relationship between blocking neurogenesis and developing depression as a result of that. According to her neurogenesis can be controlled by what you eat, stress level, amount of sleep, learning, sex, and running. Some of the nutrients that can increase neurogenesis are flavonoids contained in dark chocolate and omega three fatty acids. Some diet techniques such as intermittent fasting and calorie restriction can also increase neurogenesis. Alcohol and high saturated fats can decrease neurogenesis. Weirdly enough diets that eat harder foods as opposed to softer foods promote more neurogenesis.

    What I extrapolated from this talk is the overall idea of having a lifestyle that involves eating healthy, exercising often, learning, and sleeping enough will not only make you happier, but also make you smarter. Overall it seems that the healthier your lifestyle is more neurons will be generated in your hippocampus which in turn will prevent depression and make you smarter. This is interesting to me because I never would have known that your diet can have an impact on your intelligence. I knew that living a healthy lifestyle would be beneficial, but I didn’t know that it can increase neurogenesis which can improve memory and learning and also prevent depression from occurring. The message I take away from this makes sense because I already knew that having a healthy lifestyle improves your overall well being. It’s interesting to now know more specifically how eating healthy and exercising regularly can improve neuron creation in your brain.

    What I am now curious about is how to improve neurogenesis past the maximum level that is natural for humans. It seems that neurogenesis can be controlled only to the extent that our body will allow it to be controlled through a healthy lifestyle. Some adults experience a more rapid decline of neuron generation because of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Exercising and eating healthy is not enough to relieve the symptoms of this disease. It would be fascinating to know how to accelerate neurogenesis to a rate that would prevent the disease from happening. It would also be interesting to know how to accelerate neurogenesis to a rate that would push the boundaries of natural human intelligence. If there was a way to accelerate the production of neurons in the hippocampus past the optimal natural level that might be the key to being able to make the average person a genius or at least have an incredibly powerful memory.

  21. Myung Ho Kim November 9, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    After I watched this TED Talk, I had to watch it once more because it interested me. Everyone ages whether we like it or not and with age comes experience, wisdom, and knowledge among other things. However, age also brings deterioration such as a decrease in brain cells or rather, a lower production of brain cells. It is amazing to think how the functions of our body is connected to each other. I got hooked once Dr. Sandrine Thuret said that there was clear evidence that the lack of new brain cells have lead to depression. As a college student, I see people stressing about all sorts of matter from exams to projects which sometimes leads to depression which saddens me. Depression is hard to deal with as most people cannot help even if they wanted to. And it saddens me that cancer patients who fought long and hard to get rid of their cancer succumb to depression due to their medication stopping the brain cells to grow. I do not blame the doctors who try their best to cure their patients. I believe that our medication has not reached the level where cancer cells could be cured without interacting negatively with the other functions of the body.
    As I was just about to get depressed and close the window to choose another article for my blog post, the talk turned to a more encouraging note. People can develop more neurons even as adults through certain actions. And I must admit, I do not like to run or work out, and I do love a fatty meal of a hamburger from Mc.Donalds which can lower the development of neurons. But I do love blueberries and dark chocolate. People just have to just find the right balance which Dr. Sandrine Thuret connects with a change in how their lifestyles impact not only their neurons but also their mood.
    I’m not the biggest science nut and some people just cant get into science. But there is always something to learn. Even from our own bodies. Dr. Sandrine Thuret did a wonderful job with telling the audience about neurogenesis and it did not belittle us on our knowledge as even another scientist she knew did not know everything about neurogenesis . It is a scientist’s job to enrich our lives and bring knowledge about the world we live in.

  22. Nicholas Kunik November 15, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    After reading the article “You Can Grow New Brain ells. Here’s How…”, I was surprised that adults have the capability to grow new neurons. I was also surprised to find out that our brains also have the capabilities of improving our moods, and increasing our memory. In recent years, scientists had the notion that a person was born with pretty much all the neurons that they would have throughout their life. However, recently scientists have overturned this notion. The first clues that an adult brain could grow new neurons came from the studies of animals. In the 1990’s, researchers had found evidence that in humans the adult hippocampus which is a key part of the brain involved in controlling memory could also be capable of growing new neurons from immature nerve cells. I believe that by figuring out how to grow new brain cells and figuring out what possible benefits it could bring, humans may be able to figure out a process that can help keep the brain healthy during adulthood and may also encourage individuals to grow these cells in order to keep our brains healthy and functional during our elderly years. I believe that increasing the amount of neurons in our brain may be a way to prevent certain diseases. Some scientists believe that by stimulating our neurons in our brain, the brain can become more durable which may lead to the prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

  23. Karen E. November 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    At a certain point in our lives, our brains become fully formed. Typically that point in time is early to mid-twenties. It is common sense to assume and studies have confirmed that certain activities contribute to good brain health such as: eating healthy, exercising, learning and adequate sleep. However, new studies confirm that those activities not only contribute to a healthy brain, but also help increase the amount of neurons we have in our brain. Neuro genesis is the process of growing new brain cells in an adult brain. This takes place in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for learning, memory, mood and emotion. According to the video, we produce around 700 new neurons per day in the Hippocampus, so by the time we are 50 years old, we will have replaced all our neurons from birth with new neurons. Taking this fact into context, it really brings to light the importance of continued care for our brains. Everything we do effects the rate in which our brains are able to produce more neurons. If we did not produce neurons at a constant rate through the age of 50, it could have negative effects on our brain health. The following activities were given as examples of increasing production of new neurons: learning, sex and running. The following activities were given as examples of decreasing production of new neurons: stress and sleep deprivation. While these activities were always deemed health and unhealthy respectively, this new discovery only goes to further validate those claims. I believe it runs parallel to the belief of actions having an effect on our feelings. For example, if you act happy, you will feel happy. The video categorizes stress as having a negative impact on neuron production. If we let our feelings of stress control our emotions, it will literally make us unhealthy. If, however, we decide to manage our stress and to act calm in a stressful situation, it will allow us to have healthy brain growth.

    Overall, it is comforting to have confirmation that engaging in the right actions will allow us to have a healthy brain that leads to a health life.

  24. Daniel Folta January 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    This Ted Talk by Sandrine Thuret was really jaw-dropping. I have always known that learning and exercising leads to better mental health. My grandmother is 96 and she’s still sharper than a knife, because she is always productive with her time, whether it is reading, writing, conversing, or walking. Just this past summer she beat me in Scrabble. But hearing the actual science behind it and why those things led to better mental health was really interesting to me. Yet what really fascinated me was that, while listening to this talk, I found myself grateful that neurogenesis (which increases general efficacy in the brain, memory capacity, and spacial recognition) is not dependent on genetics, but rather, dependent on my own choices and actions each day. As Dr. Thuret said, “Can we control neurogenesis? The answer is yes.” I cannot sit back and say, “Well, this is who I am because I was born like this,” because my well-being, my future, and my fulfillment in life are dependent on me. Neurogenesis is a testament to that. In addition, the applications of increasing and decreasing neurogenesis is centered around activities that we already know are beneficial to us. Learning and exercising, two biggies on increasing neurogenesis, are directly correlated to discipline: staying committed to frequently engaging in “good” activities, fueled by willpower. Discipline is not just a moral virtue, but a scientific virtue; commitment to learning and exercising scientifically benefits us. In ancient times, people reading the Old Testament scriptures were encouraged to not be lazy, not for the sake of prosperity but for the sake of their connection to God. Hearing from this Ted Talk that the same general principle written thousands of years ago is still being promoted today under a different lens is really intriguing to me. It makes me wonder how synced moral virtue is with science. For instance, what scientific impact do outward-focusing moral virtues like generosity, gentleness, and love have on our own physical/chemical condition or brain? It is already commonly believed that our mood is made up of chemicals in our brain – an idea that I would imagine would have been scoffed at during Plato’s time. Or to take it a step further, is there a scientific connection between spirituality and physicality that we have yet to crack open?

    This talk definitely left me with wanting more. In addition to the connection between science and virtues, my curiosity is drawn towards expanding my knowledge in the grayer areas on what increases and what decreases neurogenesis. For instance, does binge-watching tv shows, (generally considered an unproductive, de-stressing, and yet mind-numbing activity) increase or decrease neurogenesis? Or on the issue of anti-depressants being ineffective when other drugs are stopping neurogenesis, does learning combined with stress (such as finals week) neutralize, negatively affect, or positively affect the brain cells? Or on the issue of stress itself; if it decreases neurogenesis, why is it so important to military training to break soldiers’ spirits? Whose brain is sharper, a man who has experienced and overcome stress time and time again, or the man who has never experienced stress at all? I believe that the simple response to these questions is that neurogenesis is not the only and ultimate source of productivity, prosperity, and fulfillment. There will be times when I will have to consciously make a decision whether I should not eat the doughnut for the sake of my body, or eat the doughnut for the sake of relief from stress, or just eat the doughnut because it is going to taste really good. Either way, I would be making a decision that will make me feel better in some way, whether it is in the long term or the short. That is where we return to the notion that we are in control. Since there is not a straightforward answer and approach to every specific thing, we as people have to make our own decisions, contributing to the beauty and creativity in the diversity of this world. If we lived in a world where there was only one way to “skin a cat,” would life be as interesting and even meaningful as it is now? The progress of science sometimes scares me into thinking that as we uncover more and more knowledge, the answers to life will become more and more acute to a point of cookie-cutter uniformity in individuals that harms uniqueness and innovation. But I am comforted that as of yet, it seems that as we learn more, we find that there is even more to be learned.

    So with all of that being said, I will try to eat more blueberries and be more conscious in doing things that may affect the quality of my brain. But sometimes I might make a conscious decision to do something that may harm the quality of my brain or health for the sake of something greater. I think that most people, including Dr. Thuret, would agree that the purpose of life is not to just survive, but to find fulfillment. Don’t get me wrong, learning and exercising are fulfilling activities that increase mental health, which can lead to more fulfillment. But why do I find people’s stories of the stupid things they did at a younger age so captivating? I think that a part of it lies in the idea that they were living life to “the fullest,” taking chances and having adventures. This does not justify excessive drinking or breaking the law, but I hope it does say something about the value of fulfillment in things outside of health, be it staying up all night just listening to a friend, embracing a culture by eating weird and unrecognizable food in a foreign country, or sacrificing in the military for the sake of our country.

  25. Aleksandra Hussain January 22, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

    As someone who studies science I am continuously expanding my knowledge on the importance of every aspect of the body. As a matter of fact it is emphasized that in order to understand science you need to make it into one long story where everything connects. One function cannot work if another function is missing. My previous biology professor Dr. Hsu said that “If you were to stick two pencil in each ear where they would meet is at the hippocampus”, the very center of the brain. Not only is the hippocampus extremely tiny but it is extremely powerful. It is where the storage of memory, learning, emotion, and, as Sandrine Thuret has pointed out, the creation of new neuron cell.
    The studies of Neuro Genesis did not surprise to me when Thuret emphasized how our daily interactions like eating, running, stress, age, sex, learning, etc. effect the production of the new neuron cells in our brains. What we do to our bodies and what we put in our bodies have an impact on how our body functions. When it comes to drugs, as you know, every drug has side effects, and a powerful drugs, like the ones used for cancer are meant to stop the over growth of the cells in the body. Neuron cells are cells that play a very important role in our bodies, so if a drug is taken to stop the growth of cells it is clear that a side effect can cause the growth in neuron cells to stop. The drug can result in damage to the hippocampus and cause problems such as depression and memory loss. However there are also drugs created, like antidepressants, which help the growth of the hormones found in the hippocampus that control emotion.
    I found it interesting that by the age 50 we have completely regenerated new neuron cells, but of course that is only true for a person who has lived a healthy life. The body is such a difficult system that it is hard to completely understand but with the more scientist and doctors the power to take control of diseases such as depression and cancer will advance as time goes on. The most important to take from Sandrine is that it is vital we make an effort to live as healthy as possible, it is understandable that there will be instances where it is out of your control, but the result of major deceases, such as lung cancer, is the because of us abusing our bodies at an early stage.

  26. Wendy Chen January 23, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    I am so excited about this TED Talk because it’s uplifting to learn to we can grow new neurons every day and work to strengthen ourselves both mentally and emotionally. I am increasing the neurogenesis in my hippocampus right now because I am learning, but at the same time, I may be decreasing it because I have been depriving myself of sleep. The title of the blog post sounded fake: “You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how…” like it was ad about how I can have a 30 day free trial to learn to grow new brain cells, and then on the 31st day, I would have to pay for the final, life-changing exercise. I still clicked on it anyway because our brains are funny in wanting to learn more about themselves. This is my brain learning about my brain; how silly you are, brain. However, after watching the TED Talk, I think Sandrine Thuret has convinced me that we can and are growing new neurons daily. We can increase and decrease our neurogenesis depending on our lifestyles, but it’s amazing how we continually grow new neurons every day and by age 50, we would have exchanged the neurons we are born with with new neurons. Although neurogenesis decreases with age, many people will still grow wiser as they age because they have lived and replaced their neurons. Sandrine Thuret gave a general scientific explanation of how it is possible for neurogenesis to occur in the hippocampus and I like how she named simple ways to increase the production of our neurons to build us into stronger individuals internally.
    On Thursday, I remember walking out of logics class with my friend and I said, “Learning puts me in such a good mood!” and it makes me so happy to know that I was increasing my neurogenesis. The hippocampus is associated with learning and memory as well as mood and emotion which made sense how my mood was improved when I came from a class that I felt like I learned. When we are stressed, we are in lower moods and we are sad which can be explained through the way we are decreasing our neurogenesis. When we are sleep deprived, it also makes sense that we are far worse at remembering things; say if someone were to pull an all-nighter for an exam the next day, they may have a harder time remembering everything that they studied when it comes time to take the exam as opposed to someone who studied for finals the day before and then had a good night’s sleep prior to the exam. Sleep is important and I like sleep, but I suppose there is a flip side to too much sleep as well since we are not stimulating our brains enough for it to promote much neurogenesis. I like how we can control neurogenesis and increase our production of new neurons by being mindful of the way we live and the things we do. Neurogenesis is a conscious choice even though we have no idea that new brain cells are growing within us and it’s important that we try to maximize the 700 new neurons we can grow every day.

  27. Kalenga Kitenge January 28, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    I find the human mind, the most beautiful invention in human history. This is because the human mind holds so much of an individual; the mind is a story of what the individual has gone through in life. Today, people still have not figured out the abilities the mind could do, scientist have not got the full sphere of the abilities of the human mind and this I find interesting. What I so find interesting is that the mind controls our bodies, our learning structure, the memories we hold, how we walk and speck mostly everything we do with our body is controlled by our brain, this I find interesting and what to research more on what the brain could do. I have always wanted to study the works of the brain however, I choice to do business, I do not know why? Reading this article and watching the video gave me a better aspect of what more the brain could do, leaning more about the brain helps me know a bit more of the abilities human beings could do. I find it amazing that we are able to have more abilities if we just had more resources and research to work out how our minds functions, has people say you can do what ever you set your mind to do. This only gives me the enjoyment, which is gassing through my veins.

    This article and video gave me more knowledge and understanding on what more the mind could do, such has knowing that there is an area in our mind called Hippocampus, this controls how learning and memory. This area controls our moods and emotions. Want I also got from the video is that we got neuromata’s, that are area produces 700 neos per day, the more we have of them the better our mood, the less we have the more depressed we get. What I have learned from this is that there are activities that increases our neuromata’s such has running, learning, reading, excise, sex and etc. however, there are activities that lower the neuromata’s such has lack of sleep, drugs, drinking and etc. What I also enjoyed from the video is that a glass of red wine increases the neon’s in our mind, which I find very alluring, so I am perfecting fine with drinking red wine and when anyone tells me not too, I will just say it helps with the activities of my mind.

    Finally, this article and video shows us how to better our self and our mind and what activities we could do to better our self, it helped me understand that the activities I sometimes do should stop because I am not improving my wellbeing only restricting it. I need to do more activates to improve my mind so I have a better mood. Not only better my mind but my memory and my learning structure, with the help with this video and article I am able to learn better and hold more memories, who does not want that? Who does not want to gain more knowledge to better yourself and the people around you by doing more activities during the day? Who does not want to better their mood and have a health mind? The answer too all these questions, I DO!

  28. Sara Frank January 29, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    It is fascinating how the human brain works. It is extremely complex and carries out some of the most difficult actions that ultimately keep our body functioning. Every reaction that our body makes comes from signals that our brain creates. Once a signal is made in our brains, our bodies can unconsciously react to move our hands off of a hot object or recognize a certain scent from a memorable time in our past. Unfortunately, our brains can also be fragile and change as we age. We may start to lose some of our memory, or become forgetful more easily. Sandrine Thuret’s research and speech were very interesting to me. She claims that there are things that we can do as we age in order to keep our brain in better condition. The hippocampus, which is found in the center of the brain, and helps us with learning, memory, mood, and emotion, can grow new neurons in a process called neurogenesis. Thuret explains that this is important because even as an adult, things such as depression can occur, and mood can be negatively affected. I feel that the advice that Thuret gives for promoting neurogenesis is simple and almost anybody can keep up with it.
    I thought that it was amazing that 700 new neurons are produced every day. Although this is a very small number compared to the actual number of neurons in a human brain, it is amazing that the brain can perform so many functions and at the same time produce neurons. It is also fascinating that by doing certain things in our daily lives, one tiny piece of the brain can benefit greatly. Thurt tells the audience that by paying more attention to diet, keeping an active lifestyle, learning new things, and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, new neurons can be generated. She also states that antidepressants aid in helping neurogenesis, which ultimately proves that neurogenesis does occur. To go along with this, Thuret says that there are things that stunt the growth of neurons. Although this presentation was directed towards an older audience, I think that young individuals can take Thuret’s advice. Young individuals should be trying to eat healthier, keeping active, as well as maintaining a healthy amount of sleep each night, and of course, learning new things. It is clear that we can improve the functioning of our brains by doing these things, as well as improving our lifestyle as a whole because we will feel better day to day.
    Another small thought that I had during this presentation was how it is so important to keep up with new research as the health field is constantly integrating new technology, in order to know much more about the human body. In Thuret’s story, her colleague was not aware that new neurons could form in an adult human brain. Because of this, he was experiencing trouble with one of his patients. I believe that this is common in the health field because there are physicians who have been in the field for so many years, but today things change so rapidly. It can be hard to keep up. I feel that new doctors will have an advantage due to technology.
    In today’s world with an increased use of technology, I often wonder how our brains will be affected in the long run. This especially goes for my generation’s children because they will be born into a world where they are introduced to technology immediately. The questions that I have include, will increased use of technology cause damage to any part of our brains? Does sitting in front of a computer for most of the day affect neuron growth, or does it promote it as we learn to perform new actions on the computer? The questions could go on and on; however, I think that as each generation continues, technology become more regular for newer generations and there has to be some kind of affect whether it be positive or negative.

  29. William Farlie February 19, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    It always intrigues me when studies or research like this come to light and the public is given a new set of suggested parameters to follow. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but it always seems to me that the results become very similar study to study. As Dr. Thuret noted in her TED talk, foods such as blueberries, dark chocolate, or red wine are very beneficial to the creation of new neurons in our brain, however foods high in fat tend to very much hamper creation of neurons instead. We’ve all heard the old adage of a glass of red wine a day being good for you, or how dark chocolate is supposedly better for a person than milk chocolate – and of course nobody doubts that McDonald’s, while tasty, is probably not the best thing for a person to eat just as nobody doubts that fruit is some of the healthiest food available to us. What interests me about these findings is just as I mentioned earlier, they are all similar to findings of other studies.

    Results such as this which show consistently over different studies show that a glass of red wine or some dark chocolate or fruit provokes thoughts inside of me about the marvel of the human body. Let me explain: consistently, study after study, we are shown that things that can be found in the wild such as fruit or the grapes to make wine are good for us and things that are produced with artificial add-ins or high in fat content such as McDonald’s hamburgers are bad for the human body. To me this is really, really cool because from my perspective it tells me that the human body is actually specifically adapted for survival on Earth from back when Earth was just a bunch of trees and water. Our bodies are hardwired to take the things that we find in the wild and not just use them, but also go above and beyond with them by having auxiliary benefits to eating natural, fresh things. This makes eating fruit and such not only the healthy choice, but the “smart” choice too.

    Digging down more into this idea we see that not only is the human body optimized for certain nutritional and dietary standards, but it also has rules and regulations for activities that we all take part in day-to-day. For instance Dr. Thuret notes that, “sleep deprivation…will decrease neural generation.” So it is shown that our bodies are very particular about just how much sleep we get and if we don’t get enough there can be negative consequences which I find really interesting. Our bodies in a sense are machines which depend on multiple, multiple different little intricacies to run at their best. This of course begets the question – what is a body’s absolute best? And that is what I’ve been driving at this whole post, the idea of human optimization. I view this idea as I would a puzzle or a mathematical problem; I think that there must be a set point hardwired into each of us where you can increase a variable (say sleep as an example) to achieve better and better performance out of a person. In the persuit of better performance one could keep increasing that variable over and over again until you reach a drop off point where the benefit is no longer observable (in the sleep example perhaps at 8.1 hours of sleep a person would work .5% more efficiently than at 8 whereas at 8.2 there might not be a real difference).

    With these ideas I think very interesting, useful research can be done to find these limits, find these standards that the body demands of us. Following that, when and if we find those limits we could increase the productivity of people or even perhaps create a device to help satisfy the required standards of our bodies on its own while we carry on living – the possibilities are endless.

  30. Jose Moreno March 1, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

    The human brain is not limited to the neurons it is born with, nor even the neurons that fill in us after the explosion of brain development in early childhood. This article helped clarify a lot for me and it helped reassure me that I do not have a set number of brain cells that I will eventually go through. I learned that we are all experiencing brain stem cell therapy every moment of our lives. Our DNA controls the process of neurogenesis. A specific gene sends for the production of a protein BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) which plays a key role in creating new neurons. Studies reveal decreased BDNF in Alzheimer’s patients, as well as other neurological conditions including schizophrenia, depression, epilepsy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fortunately, many of the factors that influence our DNA to produce BDNF factors are under our control. The gene that turns on BDNF is activated by a variety of factors including physical exercise, calorie restriction, curcumin and the omega-3 fat. These factors represent choices we can make to turn on the gene for neurogenesis. Therefore, we can treat ourselves to stem cell therapy by taking control of our gene expression. The mechanism by which exercise enhances brain performance is described in studies as sitting squarely with increased production of BDNF. Just by engaging in regular physical exercise, you open the door to the possibility of actively taking control of your mental destiny. Caloric Restriction works as preventive medicine for the brain. Managing calories and increasing or reducing calorie intake to the right levels have proven to increase mental health over time. Because curcumin is the main active ingredient in the spice turmeric which increases BDNF, it has attracted the interest of neuroscientists. Epidemiological studies have found that Alzheimer’s disease is only about 25 percent as common as in the U.S. There is little doubt that the positive effects of enhanced BDNF production on brain neurons is at least part of the reason why those consuming curcumin are so resistant to this brain disorder. Like curcumin, DHA enhances gene expression for the production of BDNF. In a study, healthy people with memory complaints who took algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a placebo. The benefit is roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger. Harnessing the power of our DNA is crucial to our prolonged development, and the tools to better brain health are available to us all. Personally after watching the video and chiseling my understanding of our brain and what it can do, I am more in favor of exercise and calorie reduction over anything else. Both are helpful in aiding in Neurogenesis and are preventative for further damage to your brain. They also really are not difficult to do and manage, it is not hard to increase or decrease calorie intake accordingly and keeping a log book of meals as well as exercising enough throughout the week.

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