By: lifecoachcode. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.”
This means the more you run a neuro-circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. This is why, to quote another old saw, “practice makes perfect”. The more you practice piano, or speaking a language, or juggling, the stronger those circuits get.
Scientists have known this for years. However, nowadays researchers learn another part of the truth: In order to learn something, even more important than practicing is the ability to unlearn, or to break down the old neural connections. This is called “synaptic pruning”.
THIS IS HOW IT WORKS:
Imagine your brain is a garden, except instead of growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables, you grow synaptic connections between neurons. These are the connections that neurotransmitters like dopamine, seratonin, and others travel across.
“Glial cells” are the gardeners of your brain—they act to speed up signals between certain neurons. But other glial cells are the waste removers, pulling up weeds, killing pests, raking up dead leaves. Your brain’s pruning gardeners are called “microglial cells.” They prune your synaptic connections. The question is, how do they know which ones to prune?
Researchers are just starting to unravel this mystery, but what they do know is the synaptic connections that get used less get marked by a protein, C1q (as well as others). When the microglial cells detect that mark, they bond to the protein and destroy—or prune—the synapse.
This is how your brain makes the physical space for you to build new and stronger connections so you can learn more.
THIS IS WHY SLEEP MATTERS:…
Source: Your Brain Has A ‘Delete Button’ And Here’s How To Use It! – Prepare for Change