“We are what we repeatedly do.”
~ Neuroplasticity: Rewire Your Brain!
Thursday, 12th January, 2023
Have you ever wondered about how many neurons are present in your brain? 86 billion neurons! Fascinating, right? Neurons, the structural and functional units of our body’s nervous system, are one of the body’s most active cell types. Axonal projections connect with other neurons responsible for information acquisition, processing, and storage. These synaptic connections are made or retracted continually in the brain, which is known as ‘plasticity’. To break down this perplexing and erudite area of neuroplasticity, an astute talk was organized by the Indian Women Scientists’ Association, in association with Dr. Pillai Global Academy, New Panvel, and the renowned professor at St. Xavier’s College, Dr. Bhaskar Saha.
Dr. Bhaskar Saha is currently researching the effects of heavy metals on the functioning of the nervous system. In particular, he is working with a trace element, Zinc, and studying how zinc toxicity affects different neuronal subtypes. The biggest and most recent accolade he has received is the Ichiro Kanehara Foundation Scholarship for Research Assistant Professor position at Nagoya University, Japan. Dr. Bhaskar Saha is also quite well-known for his active involvement in various talks such as ‘Adult Neurogenesis: Is the Brain Self Sufficient?’, and a multitude of other such exciting topics. Dr. Bhaskar Saha revealed his approach and understanding of how our brains evolve from infancy to infirmity in his illuminating discussion at our school.
Before the students delved into the depths of the more sophisticated parts of neuroplasticity, he explained the basics: the structure of the brain, with an emphasis on the cerebral cortex. Simply put, the cerebral cortex is the region of the brain that is in charge of higher-level operations.
As the session came to a draw, the forum was available for queries from an array of curious students. It was scholarly and fruitful, with back-and-forth exchanges from both students and lecturers. The attendees of the event felt extremely fortunate to receive this opportunity and bear witness to a truly scholastic afternoon.
Author: Neil Dsouza, IBDP 1
Mugdha Patil, Grade 8