On the 8th of August, an interesting study
was published in the scientific journal Cell
about the human being’s ability to learn. Researchers have apparently long sought a factor that can trigger the brain’s ability to learn – and perhaps recapture the “sponge-like” quality of childhood.
We all know very well how easy it was to learn a new language when we were young and how difficult it can be now these days…
Now, neuroscientists at Children’s Hospital Boston report that they’ve identified such a factor, a protein called Otx2. Otx2 helps cells in the brain to mature, initiating a time of increased brain plasticity, when the brain then can make new connections and thus learn.
The interesting part is, that Otx2 is actually sent by the Retina (part of the eye) to the brain cells. This means, that the eye is telling the brain when to become plastic (and therefore ready for learning), rather than the brain developing the increased learning ability on its own.
The researchers demonstrated that when mice are left in the dark, thus getting no visual input, Otx2 remains in the retina. Only when the mice received full visual input, Otx2 began to appear in the brain cells and they started to mature.
I think this new research study proves the highly visual learning approach we are trying to pursue with busuu.com! The more visual stimulation you receive while learning a new language with our website, the more of this wonderful Otx2 will be produced and your language skills will grow and grow - just try it out!! ;-)