The Brain Set Free

Lifting neural constraints could turn back time, making way for youthful flexibility

By Laura Sanders, 10:21 AM July 26, 2012

A baby’s brain is a thirsty sponge, slurping up words, figuring out faces and learning which foods are good and bad to eat. Information about the world flooding into a young brain begins to carve out traces, like rushing water over soft limestone. As the outside world sculpts the growing brain, important connections between nerve cells become strong rivers, while smaller unused tributaries quietly disappear.

In time, these brain connections crystallize, forming indelible patterns etched int...

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