Advertisement

How do brain cells allow me to learn?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Learning starts with the nerve cells of the brain: the neurons. They carry information from one part of the brain to another, as well as back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body by way of the spinal cord and some specialized structures called cranial nerves. Those messages are what give us the ability to think, learn, feel, and move. Neurons are shaped like trees, with strong roots called dendrites and branches as well. Nerve cells receive info from their roots and send that info through the trunk of the tree (the axon) to the branches. Those branches pass along the information to the next neuron like a game of Telephone (or Whisper Down the Lane, if you prefer).


The branches of one neuron do not touch the roots of the next one. The message has to take a neurological leap of faith, if you will, by crossing the space between the two neurons, called the synapse. Its transportation mechanism? A chemical messenger called a neurotransmitter. The strength and complexity of the connections between neurons are the keys to learning and brain development.

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

More About this Book

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

Continue Learning about Teen Perspective: Learning and Memory

What are three basic types of memory?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
The three basic forms of memory are short-term memory, which refers to memories that can last from a...
More Answers
What is the difference between the mind and the brain?
William B. Salt II., MDWilliam B. Salt II., MD
Brain and mind are not the same. Your brain is part of the visible, tangible world of the body. ...
More Answers
How can essential oils help me improve my memory while studying at college?
Daphne OzDaphne Oz
Essential oils in aromatherapy can help you retain that ridiculous amount of calculus you've bee...
More Answers
How Is Auditory Memory Different from Visual and Other Sensory Memory?
How Is Auditory Memory Different from Visual and Other Sensory Memory?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.