What changes will happen to brain cells when you learn something new?


What changes will happen to brain cells when you learn something new?

In: Biology

The neurons inside your brain are reworking their action potentials so that the desired response comes from the desired stimulus. They might be adding more neurotransmitter receptors or subtracting them which can alter the action potential of a neuron which can affect its ability to turn on or off depending on the stimulus.

Like say you’re learning to catch a baseball. You start by having to think about it. You have to think about where the baseball is coming from, the path that it’s on, where you anticipate the ball will be, putting your hand in the right position, then closing the mitt at the right time.

First time you might get it completely wrong. When you get it wrong, you think about what you did wrong, connections between your visual cortex and motor neurons start to nudge each other to correct themselves. Then you get closer so they’re on the right track. In response to the stimulus and a bit of effort they nudge a little more. Then you finally get it! So now your brain knows the path! So you do it again. Your brain starts to reinforce that path by making the action potentials along that path lower in response to the stimulus. You feel it getting easier and easier and you have to think less and less about it.

Pretty soon you can accomplish the action without even thinking about it. This is because your brain has basically streamlined the entire action and all the relevant neurons are firing in response to the stimulus as previously learned.