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是否能重获大脑曾经拥有的超能力?

Your Brain Once Had a Superpower. Could You Get It Back?

This episode of SciShow is brought to you by the Smithsonian
这期科学秀的内容来自史密森
National Air and Space Museum’s Teacher Innovator Institute.
国家航空航天博物馆教师创新学院
If you’re a 5th- through 8th-grade teacher in the US, you can visit s.si.edu/tii
在美国 如果你是5到8年级的老师 访问该网址
to learn more about the program and fill out the application.
可以了解更多项目有关内容并填写申请表
[♪ INTRO]
[开场音乐]
When you think of a young kid, their incredible brainpower probably isn’t
关于小孩 我们最先想到的可能不是
the first thing that comes to mind.
他们的超高智力
But kids’ brains have a sort of superpower:
但是孩子们的大脑有一种超能力
they are excellent at rewiring themselves.
他们擅长自我重塑
That allows kids to be great learners, and in some cases,
这让孩子们成为了很好的学者 某些情况下
they can even recover from brain injuries adults can’t.
他们可以从成人无法恢复的脑损伤中恢复
Like, for years, there was a visual condition that doctors thought
比如说 多年来 医生认为有一种视力问题
could only be treated in kids, thanks to their adaptable brains.
只能在儿时矫正 因为孩子大脑适应性强
The good news is, things definitely aren’t hopeless for adults.
好在 对于成人来说 并不是绝对没有希望的
And with more research, doctors may even be able to restore
更多研究显示 在成年后的生活中
some of the brain’s flexibility later in life.
医生甚至能够重建一些大脑的灵活性
When researchers are describing how adaptable kids’ brains are,
当研究者在描述孩子大脑的适应性时
they say the brain has high neural plasticity.
认为其大脑有高度神经元可塑性
It’s moldable, like warm plastic.
它是可塑的 就像受热的塑料
And that is huge for development.
这对生命进程意义重大
In fact, a time of high plasticity that can affect how a skill develops
实际上 会影响技能学习的高度可塑性时期
is called a critical period.
被称为关键期
This is a time where a kid’s brain is super responsive to outside influences,
此时 孩子的大脑对外界的刺激反应强烈
to the point where some skills are harder or even impossible
可以说 有些技能就很难甚至不可能
to learn after the critical period is over.
在关键期之后被掌握
Now, your brain still has some plasticity as an adult.
但对于成人 大脑仍然有一定的可塑性
Whenever you learn something,
当你在学习时
you’re still physically forming or fine-tuning connections in your brain.
大脑依然在调控你的肢体行为或进行微调
You might grow cells called neurons to carry signals around.
大脑可能产生神经元细胞来传递信号
Or you might strengthen or change the number of connections between neurons.
可能是加强神经元的联系或改变其数量
But this happens way more easily for kids.
但这些更容易发生在小孩身上
Scientists are still learning why, but it seems to be related
科学家仍在研究原因 这似乎与
to the fact that our brains develop inhibitory circuits over time.
大脑随着时间的推移而形成抑制回路有关
In other words, neurons develop that reduce communication
换言之 一部分神经元的发育阻碍了
between other neurons.
其他神经元之间的联系
And a chemical called GABA is often involved, but we’ll come back to that later.
一种叫GABA的化学物质常参与其中 后面会讲到
Now, all this isn’t bad: Inhibition is an important part of brain function.
这不是坏事:抑制就是大脑功能的一部分
But as our brains develop, it means that the way we learn does, as well.
但随着大脑发育 学习力也一样会被抑制
Now, not every brain region develops at the same time,
大脑的每个区域并不是同时发育的
so there are different critical periods for different skills.
所以 学习不同的技能有不同的关键期
One that stood out to scientists was the critical period for vision.
科学家认为 视觉关键期是一个突出的例子
Like, sometimes, a kid is born with or develops a weakness in one eye;
有时 孩子生来就伴有一只眼睛的缺陷
for instance, their vision in that eye might just be worse.
例如 他那只眼睛的视力很弱
That can be treated with glasses, but if it isn’t caught in time,
可以通过戴眼镜矫正 如果没有及时发现
the kid’s brain may try to compensate for the weaker eye.
大脑可能会对视力弱的眼睛尽力做出补偿
Their brain’s visual cortex will start ignoring signals from that eye
大脑视觉皮层会忽略弱视力眼睛的信号
and relying on input from the stronger one.
依赖视力较强的那只眼睛输入的信号
This condition is called amblyopia.
这被称为弱视
And it’s effectively vision loss or impairment in one eye driven by your brain.
实际上是大脑放弃或削弱一只眼睛的视力
In a way, it’s caused because kids’ brains are so adaptable.
某种程度上 这是因为孩子的大脑适应性强
In that time of high plasticity, the brain rewires itself.
在高可塑性期 大脑进行了自我重塑连接
But on the flip side, if amblyopia is caught while someone
但另一方面 如果某人被发现弱视时
is still in that critical period, it’s also straightforward to treat.
还处于高可塑性的关键期 也可以直接治疗
A doctor might have someone wear an eyepatch over their stronger eye,
医生会给视力好的那只眼睛戴上一个眼罩
essentially forcing their brain to use input from the weaker eye
迫使大脑使用弱视侧眼睛输入的信号
while the visual cortex is still flexible.
此时 视觉皮层仍然是可塑的
In fact, you lose so much flexibility after the critical period closes
事实上 这段关键期结束后会丧失很多可塑性
that many researchers used to think you couldn’t treat amblyopia
许多研究在过去常认为弱视
once someone was past around six to eight years old.
在6到8岁之后就无法被矫正
Now, at least one study has shown that the eyepatch method
现在 至少有一项研究显示戴眼罩的方法
did work in some people in their late teens.
在之后的年龄段中能起到矫正作用
And this method and other therapies have also been shown
这个方法和其他治疗也说明了
to help adults with amblyopia.
患有弱视的成年人可以被治疗
That suggests the visual cortex has some plasticity later in life.
说明视觉皮层在成年后的生活里有可塑性
But scientists are also looking for ways
科学家也在找方法
to just flat-out increase brain plasticity in adults.
去尽力提高成人的大脑可塑性
That wouldn’t just help with amblyopia,
这不仅仅有助于治疗弱视
but could also help people recover from strokes and other brain injuries.
也能帮助人们从中风或其他脑损伤中恢复
So far, these studies have been done on animals like rats,
这些研究已在老鼠等动物身上得到了证实
and there’s a lot to learn before researchers start human trials.
进行人体试验前 还有很多东西需要研究
But so far, experiments have found ways to increase plasticity
但目前为止 各种实验已经找到了方法提高
in adult rodents’ brains.
成年龋齿动物的大脑可塑性
Some of them come back to those inhibitory neurons and chemicals like GABA.
一些实验回到了对抑制神经元和GABA等化学物质的研究上
The idea is that, if the development of inhibition in the brain is what closes
这个想法就是 如果大脑中的抑制增多是结束关键期的因素
critical periods…well, maybe stopping inhibition would open them up again.
那么或许阻止抑制的产生就能重启关键期
And studies have found evidence for that.
一些研究找到了这个理论证据
In a 2010 paper from The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers deprived rats
2010《神经科学》论文中 研究者们去掉老鼠
of vision in one eye — basically, trying to create something like amblyopia.
一只眼睛的视力 尽力效仿例如弱视的症状
Then, they took four of the rats and used a drug
他们选择了四只老鼠 使用一种药物
to reduce GABA activity in their visual cortices.
以减少老鼠视觉皮层中GABA的活性
Another four rats got saline injections as a control.
另外四只老鼠注射生理盐水作为对照
After that, the team tested how much the rats’ brains had changed
之后 研究小组测试了老鼠的大脑
in response to their simulated amblyopia.
在模拟弱视后对药物产生了多大的变化
And the results were encouraging!
结果令人备受鼓舞!
In the rats that got saline, their brains didn’t change.
注射生理盐水的老鼠 大脑没有改变
They were using both eyes equally.
对双眼的使用是一样的
But in rats where the scientists had reduced GABA,
但在减少了GABA生成的老鼠中
their brains adapted and were favoring the stronger eye.
大脑进行调试 偏向于使用视力好的眼睛
This suggested that reducing GABA made their visual cortices more plastic,
说明减少GABA让视觉皮层更具可塑性
like what you’d find in a younger rat.
就像你在一只幼鼠上发现的
That said, there is a catch: Other research has found that
可是有一个问题 其他研究发现
some chemicals that reduce GABA can also cause seizures.
某些减少GABA的化学物质也会引起癫痫
So until we learn that this treatment would be safe, it isn’t ready to test in humans.
直到我们确认这种疗法是安全的 否则不能进行人体试验
But research is ongoing!
但研究仍在进行!
And scientists are also exploring ways
科学家们也在探索
to affect inhibition without messing with GABA.
在不干扰GABA的情况下影响抑制的方法
Because on their own, the plasticity adult brains already have is amazing.
就其本身而言 成人的大脑已经很不错了
It allows us to keep learning, growing, and sometimes healing throughout our lives.
它让我们不断学习 成长和自我治愈
But if we could tap into the extra adaptability our brains had as kids…
但如果我们继续探寻大脑更多的适应性 就像孩子们的大脑所有的
that would mean some amazing things for medicine.
这将意味着医学史上的重大突破
Now, if you’re a teacher who works with kids and their superpowered brains,
现在 如果你是孩子们的老师 面对着他们能力强大的大脑
check out today’s sponsor, the Smithsonian National Air
不防看看今天的赞助商 史密森国家航空
and Space Museum’s Teacher Innovator Institute!
航天博物馆教师创新学院
The Teacher Innovator Institute is an all-expense-paid development intensive
教师创新学院是纯自费机构 着力于发展
for 5th through 8th grade STEAM teachers from the United States.
教5到8年级的有STEAM理念的老师 覆盖全美国
For two consecutive summers, you would spend two weeks in Washington DC.
连着两个夏天 你可以花两周来到华盛顿特区
And there, you’d tour museums, gain expert knowledge from museum educators,
在那里 你可以参观博物馆 吸收博物馆教育者的专业知识
and work with other teachers, with the goal of using aerospace science,
并与其他教师合作 目标是利用航天科学
history, and technology to shape your ideas about authentic learning
历史和技术来实现你实境学习的想法
and ways to bring informal education techniques into your classrooms.
以及将非正式教育技术引入课堂的方法
The 2022 cohort will welcome up to 10 teachers and will be focused
2022年的团队将欢迎多达10名教师 着力于
on early career teachers with less than 6 years in the classroom, as well as
从教不到六年的早期教师 一样也欢迎
educators of color, LGBTQ+ educators, and educators with disabilities.
有色人种 性少数群体和残疾人教师
Wondering if you or a teacher in your life might be a good fit?
想知道你或周围某个老师是否符合条件?
You can click the link in the description
可以点击简介里的链接
to see if you’re eligible and fill out the application.
查看你是否符合资格并填写申请
Applications close February 15, 2022, so visit s.si.edu/tii or search the
申请于2022年2月15日关闭 搜索
National Air and Space Museum’s Teacher Innovator Institute to learn more today!
国家航空航天博物馆教师创新学院了解更多内容
And as always, thanks for watching this episode of SciShow!
感谢您收看本期科学秀!
[♪ OUTRO]
[结尾音乐]

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视频概述

该视频是一期由美国史密斯航空航天博物馆教师创新学院提供主要内容的科学秀,主要讲述了人类大脑拥有超强可塑性的关键时期以及科学家对大脑超能力的探索与研究,并以视力问题作为举例。最后对教师创新学院做了简单介绍,并发布了2022年教师加入创新学院的申请通知。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YATDKQHUEs

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