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Learning creates more synapses

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AMAZING research proves the value of learning. Learning creates more synapses! Another benefit of learning. Keep the brain healthy, enjoy adult life and learn… I know a company with great learning experiences.

Normal sensory experiences direct brain cells to their location and reinforce the connections between brain cells. We are born with more than 100 billion brain cells or neurons; we will not grow more. That’s about 10 times the number of stars in the entire Milky Way, and about 20 times the number of people on the planet.

Neurons are the functioning core of the brain. Each cell body is about one-hundredth the size of the period at the end of this sentence. A neuron has branches or dendrites emerging from the cell body. These dendrites pick up chemical signals across a synapse and the impulse travels the length of the axon. Each axon branch has a sac containing neurotransmitters at its tip. The electrical impulse causes the release of the neurotransmitters, which, in turn, stimulates or inhibits neighboring dendrites, like an on-off switch.

These connections are miracles of the human body. To understand their power, you have to multiply this miracle by trillions. A single cell can connect with as many as 15,000 other cells.

This incredibly complex network of connections that results often is referred to as the brain’s “circuitry” or “wiring.” Experience shapes the way circuits are made in the brain. A remarkable increase in synapses occurs during the first year of life. The brain develops a functional architecture through the development of these synapses or connections.

For example, if a parent repeatedly calls a child a certain name, then connections will form that allow the child to recognize that name over time as referring to him and he will learn to respond. From birth, the brain rapidly is creating these connections that form our habits, thoughts, consciousness, memories and mind.

By the time a child is 3 years old, a baby’s brain has formed about 1,000 trillion connections — about twice as many as adults have. A baby’s brain is superdense and will stay that way throughout the first decade of life. Beginning at about age 11, a child’s brain gets rid of extra connections in a process calling “pruning,” gradually making order out of a thick tangle of “wires.”

 

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