White Matter and Learning in the Brain – 3
Narrator: This is NIH Health Matters. I’m Joe Balintfy. The brain is composed of two different types of tissue: gray matter and white matter, also called myelin [MY-eh-lin]. Myelin controls the speed of conduction, or flow of impulses in the brain.
Fields: Myelin can increase the speed of conduction a hundred fold.
Narrator: Dr. Douglas Fields at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Health Development adds faster is not always better.
Fields: So we now realize that it’s important, especially in higher-level cognitive function, that the speed of impulse transmission be synchronized and optimized, just like a train system has to be highly synchronized.
Narrator: To learn more about the brain and brain function, visit www.ninds.nih.gov. Health Matters is produced by the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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