Sweet Learning

Poor learners really aren’t to blame,

They cannot switch what’s in their brain;

The hippocampus is at fault,

For making their connections halt.

 

It’s proteins that we must disdain,

Poor learners really aren’t to blame;

C-R-E-B and GABRA5,

Determine if recall can thrive.

 

If one is high and one is low,

Then learning will not be so slow.

The other way brings memory shame,

Poor learners really aren’t to blame.

 

But cinnamon can bring great clout,

And help the hippocampus out;

So let our taste buds all exclaim:

Poor learners really aren’t to blame.

 

A potential cure for poor learning (Photo Credit: Simon A. Eugster - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)?
A potential cure for poor learning (Photo Credit: Simon A. Eugster – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)?

 

This is a Quatern, written about recent research that has demonstrated how cinnamon can potentially improve learning. Research has shown that the key to whether or not someone is a good learner is probably related to the hippocampus, a small part in the brain that generates, organises and stores memory. It has previously been found that good learners have more CREB (a protein involved in memory and learning) and less GABRA5 (another protein that can slow down the rate at which the brain communicates) than poor learners.

By feeding cinnamon to mice that were perceived to be poor learners, the researchers found that this lead to an increase in their CREB and a decrease in their GABRA5 levels. The learning ability of the mice was initially tested using a Barnes maze, which is a circular maze with 20 holes. After a month of being fed cinnamon, it was found that the learning and memory of the poor learning mice had improved to that of the good learning mice. However, the cinnamon seemed to have no effect on the mice that were already perceived to be good learners.

This research could have profound implications on our ability to convert poor learners to good learners, involving a natural and relatively cheap ingredient.

An audio version of this poem can be heard here.

4 thoughts on “Sweet Learning

      • Dear Samuel,
        It is such a wonderful poem !! You summarized the entire article in your magical words, yet so simple. Thank you so much.

        • You are more than welcome. I am so glad that you liked it 🙂

          Thank you for the inspirational research, and I can’t wait to find out more.

          Sam

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