diagram of axon terminal and dendrite

It’s that time of year again — the incoming first-year students worked through How Your Brain Learns and Remembers.  Some student comments I don’t want to lose track of:

“Of course you can grow your intelligence.  How else am I not still at the mental capacity of a newborn?”

“Where do dendrites grow to?  Why?  How do they know where to grow to?”

“I think I can grow my intelligence with lots of practice and a calm open mind!”

“Though I feel intelligence can grow, I feel it can’t grow by much.  Intelligence is your ability to learn, and you can’t just change it on the spot.”

“I think I can grow my intelligence because the older I get the smarter I get and I learn from mistakes.”

“I can definitely become more intelligent or more knowledgeable, otherwise no point in trying to learn. However, everyone is different, so each person could take more time to grow the dendrites and form the proper memories.”

“I think you can grow your intelligence through practice.”

“Do some people’s dendrites build quicker/slower and stronger/weaker than others?  Do some people’s break down quicker or slower than others?”

“You should be keeping up through the week but you probably can do homework only on weekends if you really focus.”

“People as a whole are always able to learn.  That’s what makes us the dominant species. It’s never too late to teach an old dog a new trick.”