The Human Brain Has Amazing Raw Computational Power
If the human brain were translated into electronic bits and circuits, it would be the most amazingly powerful computer ever built. Scientists estimate that the brain can process somewhere between 10 to the 13th and 10 to the 16th operations per second that’s an amazing amount of raw computational power. No computer built today can even come close to that kind of power.
What Is White Matter
White matter areas of the brain mainly consist of myelinated axons, which are long relays that extend out from the soma, and which are whiteish in color due to the relatively high lipid fat content of the myelin protein that sheathes them, These form connections between brain cells, and white matter is typically distributed into bundles called tracts.
The Role Deep Grey Matter In The Brain Plays In Ms
Deep grey matter is profoundly involved in the disease progression of MS patients
Our brains consist of grey matter and white matter. Grey matter contains the nerve cells, while white matter is composed of nerve fibres, which connect the nerve cells and are protected by myelin. Myelin is needed for our nerves to work properly.
When the myelin sheath is damaged, the flow of impulses along nerve fibres slows down or fails completely. As a result, brain functions become hampered or are lost.
MS has long been considered a disease of white matter, but more recent studies have highlighted the importance of grey matter demyelination.
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Increasing And Improving White Matter
Some research has found that physical exercise, in particular, cardiorespiratory activities and weight resistance training, was correlated with improved white matter integrity in the brains of those who participated in those studies.
Physical exercise has also been connected to a decreased risk of dementia as well as a slower cognitive decline in people who already have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia.
Other research found that when adults learned new skills, the amount of white matter in their brains increased. This was true for learning to read as an adult and learning to juggle.
Additionally, white matter increased relative to the number of hours that professional musicians practiced their instruments.
White matter functioning was also improved by the practice of meditation, and the difference was observed in as little as in two to four weeks.
Gray Matter Volume And Cognitive Performance During Normal Aging A Voxel
- 1INSERM/CNRS, Institut Vision, Sorbonne University, Pierre and Marie Curie Universities Paris 06, Paris, France
- 2CNRS LPNC UMR 5105, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
- 3CNRS, Grenoble INP, GIPSA-lab, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
- 4UMS IRMaGe Grenoble Hospital, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
- 5Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, University of Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France
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Playing Action Video Games Increases Grey Matter Volume
Playing video game is a big controversy . Researchers observed playing certain types of action video games has its effect on gray matter volume . They found that playing action video games for 2 months for at least 30 min per day can significantly increase gray matter volume . AVG playing requires a high level of attention and hand-eye coordination. Scientists found that games that have complex 3D settings, feature quick-moving targets that appear in and out of the gamers view, involve large amounts of clutter and which require the gamers to make fast and accurate decision as well as switch between varying levels of and attention, can have positive impact on cognition. Exploring virtual environments help people to learn, remember, and even explore real-world environments. Video games could be therapeutically useful for patients with mental disorders in which brain regions are altered or reduced in size.
Scientists have demonstrated that with age brain structure can be altered upon prolonged exposure to novel environments and experience. The neural pathways and synapses can be changed by yoga, meditation, exercises, training and diets. This positive change can happen at the cellular level or at the level of cortical re-mapping.
White Matter And Neuropsychiatry
Abnormalities of cerebral white matter are associated with a spectrum of emotional disturbances. This category of disorders is vaguer than the brain-behavior syndromes because the correlation of white matter disorders with psychiatric syndromes is much less clear and psychiatric impairments are notorious for having multiple causes. Still, there is much new information on the role of white matter in emotional function, shedding light on both white matter disorders and psychiatric diseases.
These neuropsychiatric syndromes fall into two general groups: psychiatric features in patients who have known white-matter disorders, and the many psychiatric diseases in which white matter abnormalities are implicated. In patients with known white matter disorders, reports document the presence of depression, mania, psychosis, pathologic crying or laughing, and euphoria. We do not know, as yet, how closely these psychiatric syndromes correlate with measures of white matter dysfunction. Thus, the possibility remains that a given psychiatric syndrome is related only indirectly, or not at all, to the patients specic white matter disorder.
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How To Increase Gray Matters In The Brain
Gray matter in the brain is directly responsible for memory, seeing, hearing, executive functions, impulse control, emotions and speech. With age gray matter in the brain decreases. However, meditation, yoga, omega-3 and many other things can increase the gray matters in the brain. In this article we focus on the techniques and methods to increase the gray matters in the brain.
Learning And Training Increases Your Grey Matter Volume
Training, learning a new, complex task such as juggling increases the gray matter volume . Scientists observed that bilingual adults have denser gray matter, especially in the brains left hemisphere, where most language and communication skills are controlled. Learning other languages altered gray matter the area of the brain which processes information in the same way exercise builds muscles. Persons who learned a second language at an early age were also more likely to have more advanced gray matter than those who learned later.
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White Matter Across The Brains Life Span
White matter develops and changes across our life span in a pattern strikingly different from gray matter. We do not complete the formation of brain myelin until many years after birth, perhaps past 20 years of age by contrast, we have our full complement of brain neurons at birth. In later life, however, a slow but steady loss of white matter occurs that may be greater than the loss of neurons . So it appears that there is less white than gray matter at both ends of the human life span.
Provocative clinical implications of this pattern are emerging. In children and adolescents, for example, the maturation of white matter, particularly in the frontal lobes, may correlate with the acquisition of mature aspects of personality such as motivation, demeanor or bearing, and executive function. These attributes, long associated with the frontal lobes, are among the last to develop, sometimes not fully maturing until our early twenties. This development may parallel the timing of full completion of the myelination of white matter tracts that connect the frontal lobes to other brain regions.3
Your Brain Is Pretty Smart But Can Make Mistakes
Brains are pretty amazing organs, but being part of humans, who are by nature fallible, brains by extension are also prone to error.
Some of the most common ways our brains fail us is through inaccurately interpreting visual information. Take a look at this first image shown in this article. Do the colors in A and B look the same? They dont, but they are. This is just one of the many ways our brains dont quite get things right.
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Comparison Of The Homogeneous Design And Designs With Gray And White Matter Segregation
In order to determine the optimal design we need to compare local conduction delays in different designs combining gray and white matter. In general, this problem is difficult to solve analytically. Yet, when global connections that are intermixed with the gray matter take less volume than does local, i.e., 1, the perturbation theory approach allows us to compare local conduction delays in homogeneous design , in which gray matter and white matter are finely intermixed, to designs in which gray and white matter are segregated.
In HD, local and global connections are finely and uniformly intermixed . Then, according to Equation 14, the relative conduction delay increase due to the penetration of global axons of diameter D in the gray matter is given by
In HD, local and global connections are uniformly and finely intermixed. Inset shows a typical local network containing local axons and dendrites , and global axons that perforate gray matter. When the volume of global axons is small, the linear size of the network can be approximated as G1/3.
In the regime ND2 2, local conduction delays in the optimal segregated design and HD are equivalent. In the regime ND2 2, there is at least one segregated design with local delays less than those in HD.
Physical Activities And Exercise:
Doing physical activities, yoga and exercises significantly increase your grey matter. Yoga helps you to synchronise your breathing and posture. This synchronisation helps the mind to calm down and concentrate. It increases the supply of blood to your brain thereby increasing the grey matter.
Aerobic exercises also have a direct relation to the amount of grey matter. A good amount of exercise contributes to making a bigger brain. A study published in 2006 found that aerobic exercises increase both the grey and the white matter. According to a study conducted by William Killgore, aerobic exercises lead to enhanced cognitive functions in children and elderly adults. The study also found that those who walked at least 72 blocks per week had significantly higher grey-matter volume.
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White Matter And Grey Matter: Whats The Difference
Grey matter is the outer shell of the brain and makes up most of the surface, or cortex, as well as the cerebellum, cerebrum, and brain stem. Grey matter is made up of mostly somas and dendrites, where the integration and initiation of local information takes place, in other words information is processed and passed in close proximity to other neurons.
- Grey matter gets its name from the pinkish grey colour of the brain tissue in these areaswhich comes from a dense collection of somas, dendrites, and non-myelinated axons.
White matter is what lies beneath the grey matter in the brain. White matter is mostly made up of axon tracts which transmit global electrical signals to other neurons, that is to say information is passed to further regions of the body.
- It gets its name from the fatty tissue that wraps around the axon called myelin. Myelin is lighter in colour, hence white matter and is an excellent insulator that allows for faster delivery of electrical signals to other neurons.
How To Strengthen Grey Matter
For those who have experienced damage to their grey mater, perhaps from trauma, young infants and children often have the better outcomes than adults.
This is because their neural systems are still developing and are more adaptable than adultâs.
Although there may not be any proven treatments for grey matter diseases such as Alzheimerâs and Parkinsonâs disease, there are some lifestyle changes that could be adopted to help keep grey matter strengthened and potentially lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases:
- Meditation and mindfulnessPhysical activity, specifically aerobic exercise
- Games which can stimulate problem-solving, attention and creativity
- Maintaining an uninterrupted sleeping pattern
- Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins
- Avoiding alcohol and other mind-altering substances
- Wearing a helmet when completing activities such as cycling so as to avoid damage to the brain
- Hobbies which can train fine motor skills such as calligraphy, knitting, or painting
- Learning new skills or learning new information to stimulate the mind
Interestingly, there have been a growing number of studies which have suggested that electroconvulsive therapy may stimulate neuroplastic effects on grey matter.
Specifically, in a study by Camilleri et al. , they detected grey matter volume increases in the medial temporal lobe after treatment of ECT had finished.
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Comparison Of The Spinal Cord And Pd
While the inner core of the spinal cord contains gray matter, the outer shell contains the white matter consisting of long axons from spinal and cortical neurons . According to our theory, such organization is optimal if the inner core diameter is on the same order as R0. To see if this is the case, note that a principal neuron in the spinal cord has a very large arbor span and may receive 105106 potential connections. Given n ~ 105, d ~ 1 m, and D ~ 1 m, we find R0 ~ 8 mm according to Equation 27, which is on the same order as the inner core diameter .
How Is It Diagnosed
Advances in medical imaging have made white matter disease easier to spot. A magnetic resonance imaging test, which takes pictures of the inside of your brain, can show any damage. Changes to white matter will show up super-bright white on an MRI scan. You may need more tests to rule out other causes.
What Is Grey Matter And White Matter In Your Brain
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White And Grey Matter Interactions
Although white and grey matter injuries are often presented as separate entities, it is hard to have one without the other. This is because many injuries simply involve both grey and white matter areas, a single neuron can have its cell body and dendrites in the grey matter and an axon in the white matter, and because neurons depend on their interactions with other neurons.
White matter damage can cause a great deal of stress and increase the energy demands on the neuron. In some cases, the neuron will not be able to meet the energy demands and the entire neuron will die . This often starts with retraction of the injured axon. On the other end, the grey matter targeted by that axon can shrink and die from inactivity or be taken over by other functions . Grey matter near the site of white matter injury can also be damaged by factors released from damaged axons and vice versa.
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Brain Facts To Know And Share: Men Have A Lower Percentage Of Gray Matter Than Women
The brain has gone mainstream. Its pop, on occasion. Its even fun what with all the new neuroscientific explanations of brain function and wiring and the ways these features may or may not affect behavior. We are also hearing more about specific regions of the brain and their purpose. For instance, the amygdala, that deeply buried almond-shaped structure, is where we process emotion might be the reason it shrinks by 30 percent upon male castration while the hippocampus, which is shaped like a sea horse, is all about memory and is the first region to go when a person has Alzheimers.
One of the first things many of us learn about the brain is how it contains both white and gray matter, yet we may have forgotten the differences between the two. Did you know women have a higher percentage of gray matter than men? And, not only do men have more white matter, percentage-wise, they also have more cerebrospinal fluid. Before trying to understand the meaning in these differences, lets begin with a satellite view of the brain.
Improve Memory And Grey Matter In Your Brain Through Cardio Exercise
If you needed more motivation to get moving in the new year, a new study provides more evidence that exercise can help keep your brain healthy and functional, and possibly keep dementia and Alzheimers at bay.
In a new study out of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, researchers found that people who actively took part in cardiorespiratory exercise like walking, running, hiking or biking showed improved brain health, particularly when it came to brain volume and grey matter.
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Conduction Delays Limit The Size Of A Highly Connected Network
We begin by considering the time delay in the local circuits of neocortex, because their mode of operationthought to involve recurrent computations seems most sensitive to the detrimental impact of time delay. We derive a scaling relationship between local conduction delay and the number of neurons that can have all-to-all potential connectivity. By assuming that the tolerable delay is on the order of a millisecond, we show that the maximum size of such network is close to that of the cortical column.
Local cortical circuits may be viewed as a network of n neurons with all-to-all potential synaptic connectivity, meaning that the axons and dendrites of most neurons come close enough to form a synapse . In the following we do not distinguish between axons and dendrites in local circuits, and we refer to them as local wires. Mathematical symbols used in this paper are shown in Table 1. The mean conduction delay t in local circuits is given by the average path length between two connected neurons , , divided by the conduction velocity, s:
Experimental measurements and theoretical arguments suggest that conduction velocity, s, scales sublinearly with the diameter, d, of local wires :
where is a constant coefficient and is a positive power smaller than one . By combining Equations 1 and 2, we arrive at the expression for the conduction delay: