Early neurological dogma was that a brain’s neurons were hardwired to be only one type of signaling molecule and nothing else. Turns out, this belief was wrong. Nick Spitzer, UC San Diego professor and director of the UCSD Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, proved that neurons could change from one type of transmitter to another. When the environment changes acutely, the brain changes also.
How the embryonic nervous system is assembled and the adult brain is modified depend on both genes and the environment – experiences such as learning and memory that can radically change the brain’s wiring or neuronal function. Professor Spitzer discusses his studies that have provided a new look at how neuronal wiring is assembled in the developing brain and the impact that environment has on continually shaping the brain later in life.
Tune in to this presentation of Profiles in Discovery: The Ever Changing Brain – From Embryo to Adult, with Nick Spitzer on UCTV.