Mary B. Kennedy: Neural Plasticity: What Is It and What Can It Do For You?
Caltech Committee on Institute Programs
Our brain alters its structure continually in response to situations that we encounter in our daily life. This capacity is called Neural Plasticity. Memories are stored when a group of neurons become linked together to form a new circuit. We acquire new motor skills when the neural circuits that carry them out are reshaped and tuned as we practice. Dr. Kennedy will describe the tiny subcellular structures whose collective action forms or adjusts each synapse in response to neural activity. She will show how damage to these structures can lead to mental illnesses or addiction.
Marcy B. Kennedy is the Allen and Lenabelle Davis Professor of Biology at Caltech.