[by Sumatra Sunet, Health & Medicine Contributor]
The Telegraph reports that researchers at Oxford University have found that it is the level of a substance called GABA in your brain that affects your ability to learn new tasks. So if you have problems in getting to grips with new tasks, dance steps, rhythms, working machinery – in fact anything that requires you to control your movements, it is not down to you being just plain stupid, but really a result of the amount of GABA that is floating around your brain.
GABA lubricates the brain and stops brain cells from overheating. It also slows down activity between the cells to an optimum level for their performing efficiency. However, the researchers have found that the more GABA you have in your brain at any time, the more your learning capacity is compromised. Some of us are able to consciously lower our GABA level to learn new tasks, but others are not so fortunate and as a result have problems in learning and performing new tasks.
Researchers at the University of Oxford, used 12 volunteers to calculate the level of GABA in the part of the brain responsible for the control of movements and then gave the volunteers the task of learning a pattern of button pressings on a keypad. They then reduced the GABA in the brains of the volunteers by using an electrical current and requested them to perform the task. The researchers found that by GABA being reduced by only 30% increased the volunteers learning rate by 70%. The GABA reduction procedure lasted about an hour, but it is hoped that with more treatment, the GABA reduction could last a lot longer and even become permanent.
- Chemical running around brain affects ability to learn (telegraph.co.uk)
- Trouble with the latest dance move? GABA might be to blame (sciencedaily.com)
- Can’t dance? Brain chemical throws off your groove (thehandiestone.typepad.com)
- Two left feet? The art of dancing is Strictly all in the mind, say scientists (dailymail.co.uk)
- Trouble with the latest dance move? GABA might be to blame (esciencenews.com)
- How quickly you learn those dance moves may be in your genes (news.bioscholar.com)
- Can’t dance? Brain chemical throws off your groove (bodyodd.msnbc.msn.com)
- Genes associated with binge drinking identified (news.bioscholar.com)