Conservatism in the elderly envisages the development of the brain

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Planinata the artist imagines the picture of a reduction in the number of synaptic connections depending on the ageConservatism in the elderly envisages the development of the brain© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polyanina

That in old age it is difficult to change habits, written many books and filmed a large number of films. But only now scientists are beginning to understand why this is happening. It turns out that this is due to the program of brain development, much of which is already formed after birth.We are born with 25% of synaptic connections (a synapse is a contact between two neurons or between a neuron and a signal-receiving effector cell), and 75% of synapses appears until the age of ten. That the human brain is fundamentally different from the brain of macaques and chimpanzees, who are born approximately 50% of synapses. Full formation of the brain in monkeys completed by the end of the first year of life, and the person it is given for ten years.

Says the Professor, SKOLKOVO Institute of science and technology (Skoltech) and the head of the comparative biology group in the Institute of computational biology in Shanghai Philip Haytovich: «It is a feature of the prefrontal cortex, which we explored. In the chimpanzee brain synaptic contacts are formed quickly, but the curve goes up in the first few months, and then gradually down. And the formation of the world picture of the person take years, which undoubtedly is a unique feature of our brain. That is, the formation of synaptic contacts in humans ends in about seven to ten years, and then connections are becoming less and less.»
Restriction of choice increases the speed of decision-making, saving us from constant «weighing» of possibilities, but it turns out that a new chain of synapses are not formed, the brain is included in the optimal mode of operation, limiting himself. The years selected is fixed, a habit, a worldview, the picture becomes unshakable. From this point of view is very interesting is the concept of the movie «Always say Yes» (eng. Yes Man) because, accepting the unusual, people can «launch» a new synaptic chain.

On closer their study found that of 367 human genes began to work in a completely different layer of the cortex compared to the chimpanzee.

Moreover, it was found that, judging by the expression of genes, the human brain differs more from the brain of a chimpanzee than the chimpanzee brain from the brain of the macaque, although the time since evolutionary separation last passed a lot more than since the separation of chimpanzees and humans.