Learning changes brain structure
There are changes in neural brain structure while practicing and mastering a new skill.
- New neural activity patterns emerge with long term learning, and this leads to new behavioral abilities.
- Implied in the research is the ability of humans to master new skills rests on the development of new neural patterns in the brain.
“We think that extended practice builds new synaptic connectivity that leads directly to the development of new patterns of activity that enable new abilities,” said Steven Chase, associate professor of biomedical engineering and the Neuroscience Institute at CMU. “We think this work applies to anybody who wants to learn - whether it be a paralyzed individual learning to use a brain-computer interface or a stroke survivor who wants to regain normal motor function. If we can look directly at the brain during motor learning, we believe we can design neurofeedback strategies that facilitate the process that leads to the formation of new neural activity patterns.”