The more you run a neuro-circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. The reason is simple, neurons that fire together wire together. The ability to learn is about more than building and strengthening neural connections.

brain neuro-circuit

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Synaptic Pruning

Synaptic pruning is the process of synapse elimination that occurs between early childhood and the onset of puberty in many mammals, including humans. Pruning starts near the time of birth and is completed by the time of sexual maturation in humans.

Our Brain Is Like A Garden

Suppose our brain is a garden, except instead of growing fruits, vegetables, we grow a synaptic connection between neurons. To speed up signals between certain neurons our brain uses Glial cells. Microglial cells prune our synaptic connections. Our brain makes a physical space for us to build new and stronger connections so we can learn more.

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brain mapping and delete button

Why Sleep Matters?

When we learn lots of new things, our brain builds connections but they’re inefficient and ad hoc connections. So when we sleep, our brain builds more organized and efficient pathways. Our brain cleans itself out when we sleep. A well-rested brain has paths that are clear and connected to one another.

This Is How We Can Control What Gets Deleted From Our Brain

We have some control over what our brain decides to delete while we sleep. The sympathetic connections that we use are the ones that get watered and oxygenated and the ones we don’t use get marked for recycling.

Sources: Judah Pollack is the co-author of The Chaos Imperative, and Olivia Fox Cabane is the author of The Charisma Myth;

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