By Helen Babbs
From deep wintry weather to past due autumn, from east to west, Adrift takes the reader on a journey of the folk, politics, background and flora and fauna of London’s canals and rivers. mixing nature writing, social remark and memoir, Helen Babbs invitations you on an eye-opening trip right into a various facet of town. From Walthamstow Marsh within the east to Uxbridge within the west, Helen Babbs trips alongside London’s waterways on a canal boat known as Pike, placing down roots for 2 weeks at a time ahead of relocating on. Taking within the River Lea and the Lee Navigation, the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union, she explores the London panorama in all its guises: marshland, barren region, urban centre and suburb. Adrift charts a yr of Helen’s existence on Pike, exploring the alterations wreaked by way of the seasons in addition to via builders, and recounting the sensible trials of dwelling aboard. it's a tale of mapping and discovery, of get away and opting out, but in addition of constructing connections and discovering domestic. simply because the coots and cormorants avoid the detritus of a big urban, so too does Helen wend throughout the good looks and the airborne dirt and dust to bare an intimate and weird portrait of London and of existence.
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Extra info for Adrift: A Secret Life of London's Waterways
Subsequently, William Greenough and his colleagues at the University of Illinois examined the structure and density of synapses in rats raised in an enriched environment. They found a small increase in the size of synapses—~8 percent—in animals raised from 25 to 55 days old in an enriched environment. Several other studies on rats confirmed this result, but a similar study in cats failed to find a significant difference. More interesting, and certainly more dramatic, was the finding that the number of synapses per neuron in the occipital cortex increased by 20-25 percent in rats raised under enriched conditions compared to those raised in an impoverished environment.
At birth, axons typically innervate several muscle fibers or autonomic ganglion cell neurons as shown in Figure 2-1. MATURING A BRAIN 35 FIGURE 2-1 A schematic view of the rearrangement of synapses that occurs during maturation of an autonomic ganglion. Initially, axons innervating the ganglion extend branches to several ganglion cells and make synapses on all the contacted cells. In the adult brain, an axon typically contacts only a single ganglion cell, but that axon now forms many synapses with the cell it innervates.
How might this come about? We don’t know in detail, but if dark-raised cats are exposed to light for just a few minutes, changes in gene expression in the cortex can be measured within an hour or so. This indicates that even brief exposures to light in a dark-raised animal can induce biochemical changes in neurons of the cortex that affect their maturation. Recovery Changes induced in the cortex as a result of visual deprivation are difficult to reverse. For example, after monocular visual deprivation, little recovery is noted if nothing is done other than to open the closed eye, even if the eye is reopened during the critical pe- 52 THE GREAT BRAIN DEBATE riod.
Adrift: A Secret Life of London's Waterways by Helen Babbs