The process of the birth of new neurons in the brain from neutral stem cells and progenitor cells is referred to as neurogenesis.
Although this process is most active during the pre-natal development stage, new research confirms that the adult brain is also active in birthing new neurons, with the efficiency of the process being capable of manipulation through the intervention of diet and exercise, as well as learning and other lifestyle and nutritional factors.
Neurogenesis is believed to take place in the hippocampus area of the brain. It is interesting to note that this is the same area of the brain tested by Dr. Jay Gunkelman at the Brain Research Institute, USA, shown to be activated by Phonemic Intelligence (PI) sound technology. As noted by Dr. Mandal, “Studies have shown that new neurons increase memory capacity, reduce the overlap between different memories and also add information regarding time to memories. Other studies have shown that the learning process itself is also linked to the survival of neurons.”1
Therefore, the common misconception that we are born with a specific number of brain neurons, which then diminish with age, is seen as untrue. Although the rate of generation of new neurons may decline, the brain remains a dynamic command center throughout our lives, capable of constantly growing and morphing.
As Dr. Fiona Kerr, a specialist in systems and neural complexity at the University of Adelaide, Australia, suggests, “we can alter the rate and shape of both the growth and the pruning through what we do and how we interact with the world.”2 She goes on to say that “even more amazingly, we can directly alter the shape and size of other people’s brains. Once you realise this, you become aware of the profound effect you can have, both on yourself and others.” This is indeed an inspiring and imperative reason to bring more awareness and responsibility to how our own brains function and it’s maintenance of “good health.”
The recent TED talk by Dr. Sandrine Thuret, “You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how,” is a timely reminder which sheds light into this cutting-edge area of research. This video can be accessed at: Sandrine Thuret – TED Talk video.