white matter

noun

Definition of white matter

: neural tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that consists largely of myelinated nerve fibers bundled into tracts, has a whitish color, and typically underlies the cortical gray matter

Examples of white matter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The brain also contains white matter, which insulates the axons, helping brain signals travel further, faster and encouraging motor and sensory function. Jenni Gritters, New York Times, "This Is Your Brain on Motherhood," 5 May 2020 Increasing and organizing white matter is critical to the brain's ability to communicate across its various parts, boosting its functionality and ability to learn. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "This is your child's brain on books: Scans show benefit of reading vs. screen time," 16 Jan. 2020 These white matter lesions reflect changes deep inside the brain, said the team led by Dr. Clinton Wright, director of the Division of Clinical Research at NINDS. Robert Preidt, CBS News, "Controlling blood pressure may help ward off dementia," 13 Aug. 2019 One group of college football players had changes in their white matter, the tracts of tissue that send signals throughout the skull, for up to six months after the end of the season—even though none of them had diagnosed concussions. Nicole Wetsman, Popular Science, "We have no idea how dangerous football really is," 1 Feb. 2020 Recent research into the white matter of children's brains indicated that young kids should spend less than an hour per day engaged in what activity? 5. CNN, "CNN 10 - January 24, 2020," 23 Jan. 2020 The blue in this image shows massive underdevelopment and disorganization of white matter in the same areas needed to support learning in school. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "This is your child's brain on books: Scans show benefit of reading vs. screen time," 16 Jan. 2020 In particular, the researchers found smaller volumes of white matter neighboring the patients’ cerebellums, a structure at the lower back of the brain involved in motor control and balance. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Brain imaging weirdness adds to Cuba “health attack” mystery," 24 July 2019 Somehow, the brain has been able to reconfigure itself to carry out the same task despite its changes in white matter. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "How the human brain stays young even as we age," 19 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white matter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of white matter

1674, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of white matter was in 1674

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Statistics for white matter

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“White matter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20matter. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for white matter

white matter

noun

Medical Definition of white matter

: neural tissue especially of the brain and spinal cord that consists largely of myelinated nerve fibers bundled into tracts, has a whitish color, and typically underlies the gray matter

More from Merriam-Webster on white matter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white matter

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about white matter

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