Research News

How the Brain Learns New Skills

Seeking to discover basic limits on the brain's plasticity, a new Caltech study discovered that learning is indeed easier when related to skills one already has because pre-existing neuronal structure constrains what one can learn. In other words, it is likely that the skills we already have developed restrict what we can learn easily in a short time.

The research was done in the lab of Professor Richard Andersen, the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience, T&C Chen Brain-Machine Interface Center Leadership Chair, and director of the T&C Brain-Machine Interface Center of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech. It was conducted in collaboration with UCLA and Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare in Pomona, California.

Read more on Caltech’s website