There is much research on the brain’s neuroplasticity that explores the brain, its functions, and changes due to different reasons. This paper examines one specific study on the subject to identify its key findings, evaluate its importance, and pose a question to initiate further research. The study is significant for neuroplasticity because of its findings, yet those are questionable due to the methods used.
The study under discussion investigates the structural plasticity of the adult brain to explore how the brain’s growth is related to learning and experience. The primary finding of the research shows that brain grey matter volume transiently increases as a result of perception learning (Schmidt et al., 2021). Moreover, the authors claim that astrocytes swell transiently, and their processes are reorganized (Schmidt et al., 2021). The brain grey matter and astrocyte volumes eventually return to their original states, but the number of mature spines increases permanently (Schmidt et al., 2021). Therefore, the article is significant for the corresponding research field as it demonstrates the dynamic of the brain-changing processes affected by perception learning.
However, a question raises after proper examination of the article under discussion. According to the study, the brain changes were traced and measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (Schimdt et al., 2021). Therefore, the accuracy of the study results strictly depends on the accuracy and effectiveness of MRI. If there is a chance that the brain changes described in the study were incorrect or incomplete, it is questionable whether the results can be double-checked for accuracy.
In brief, the article’s key findings prove its significance for the research, but the methods used are questionable as it is not clear whether they provide accurate results. The article’s findings show that perception learning affects the grey brain matter and astrocytes both transiently and consistently, which is significant for neuroplasticity. However, there is a question of whether MRI provides sufficient accuracy to ensure the study results’ reliability.
Schmidt, S., Gull, S., Herrmann, K. H., Boehme, M., Irintchev, A., Urbach, A., Reichenbach, J. R., Klingner, C. M., Gaser, C., & Witte, O. W. (2021). Experience-dependent structural plasticity in the adult brain: How the learning brain grows. NeuroImage, 225, 1-13.