Now, researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have demonstrated that visual stimulation causes particular neurons... to sprout new branches...The study--published this week in Nature (October 3)--provides one of the first comprehensive views of how visual stimulation guides the development of normal brain architecture.
"Babies are born with 100 billion brain cells, called neurons. Throughout a child's formative years, trillions of connections, called synapses, form between the cells, acting as bridges and establishing the brain's circuitry -- the architecture that allows a person to see, feel, move, process information. A brain with more, higher-quality synapses can process information more quickly, with less energy, than the brain with fewer, less relevant synapses. Stimulation -- light, color, sound, touch -- all create synapses.