up of neurons and support cells known as gray matter responsible for higher

Up of neurons and support cells known as gray matter

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up of neurons and support cells, known as "gray matter" responsible for higher-order thinking such as decision-making and problem-solving . But the brain also contains what is known as "white matter," which is made up of all the axons that connect with other regions of the brain to communicate information. White matter is so named due to the fatty, white sheath known as myelin that surrounds the axons that speed up the electrical signals used to communicate information throughout the brain. In addition to that, Chronic stress, on the other hand, can lead to an array of problems (Cherry 2018). Cherry further states that "You’re creating a brain that’s either resilient or very vulnerable to mental disease, based on the patterning of white matter you get early in life” (Cherry 2018). Equally important, stress can kill the brain cells. A single socially-stress event could kill new neurons in the brain's hippocampus which is one of the regions of the brain heavily associated with memory , emotion , and learning. It is also one of the two areas of the brain where neurogenesis , or the formation of new brain cells, occurs throughout life. In experiments, the research team placed young rats in a cage with two older rats for a period of 20 minutes (Cherry 2018). “ The young rat was subjected to aggression from the more mature residents of the cage. Later examination of the young rats found that they had cortisol levels up to six times higher than that of rats who had not experienced a stressful social encounter. Further examination revealed that while the young rats placed under stress had generated the same number of new
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neurons as those who had not experienced the stress, there was a marked reduction in the number of nerve cells a week later” (Cherry 2018). In other words, while stress did not seem to influence the formation of new neurons, it did impact whether or not those cells survived. Last but not the least, chronic stress can result in shrinking of the brain cells. Even among otherwise healthy people, stress can lead to shrinkage in areas of the brain associated with the regulation of emotions, metabolism, and memory (Hathaway 2012). Chronic, everyday stress
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