Scientists have unlocked a state of child-like fast learning in the adult brain

Fiona MacDonald:

When we’re young, our brains are able to form new neural connections extremely quickly – an ability known as “plasticity” that allows us to learn how to walk, talk and play all in the space of a few years. But, as we get older, this ability fades and, sadly, it takes us longer to learn new things.

Now scientists from Stanford University in the US have managed to unlock child-like plasticity in the adult brains of mice by interfering with a protein known as PirB (or LilrB2 in humans).

The breakthrough is pretty exciting as it could not only lead to new mind-enhancing drugs, but could also help us work out how to make the brain more malleable and better able to recover from damage.