We know that our Brain is the command centre of the nervous system. It receives input from the sensory organs and sends output to the muscles. It contains billions of nerve fibres i.e. axons and dendrites which forms white matter. These neurons are connected by trillions of connections known as synapses.
Brain makes space and builds new connections. According to neuroscience, there is a neuro circuit in the brain, the more you use, the stronger it becomes. There is also a saying that through practice, humans or animals become perfect (practice makes perfect). We can understand this as when we start learning new things may be any instrument or language etc. we have to practice repeatedly.
Ability to learn increases by strengthening and building the neural connections. And so, we are able to forget old things or forget the old incident over the time. The science of brain calls it as "synaptic pruning". Let's study through this article that the brain has delete button and how it works?
Do you know that your brain is like a garden?
The way we sow flowers and fruits in the garden, in the same way, you can increase synaptic connections between the neurons in the brain. The gardener looks after the garden, similarly, “Glial cells” act as your brain gardeners. Some cells work to accelerate the signals between the neurons and some cells act as waste removers. The cells which prune the gardeners of the brain are called "Microglial cells". They prune your synaptic connections.
10 interesting facts about Human Brain
Now, let's understand how pruning takes place?
The synaptic connections that get used less are marked or bind together with a protein, C1q (as well as others). When microglial cells detect that mark or sign, then they bind to the protein and destroy or prune the synapse. In this way, the process of deleting is done, physical space is generated in the brain and that is why you can learn and remember new things.
Why sleep is important and how it plays an important role in this process?
Sometimes when we read more or work more then we feel tired because brain is exhausted, it seems like now you can't learn new things. This has happened because your sleep is not complete and you keep getting new information which seems to be full of brain.
When you learn a lot of new things, your brain makes connections, but they are inefficient or ad hoc. That is why your brain needs pruning and has to build more streamlines and efficient pathways.
This is only possible when we take proper sleep.
When you sleep, your brain clean itself, cells of the brain shrink up to 60% and create space for Glial gardeners to take away waste.
That's why we must take 10 or 20 minutes of nap so that microglial gardeners get an opportunity, to finish the unused connection or prune the synapses and establish a place to make new ones.
Your brain knows what to keep and what not
When you sleep, the brain deletes the connection that you have not used for a long time. That is why the brain also requires refinement and be careful what you are thinking about.
To take advantage of your brain's natural gardening system, just think about the things that are important to you. Your brain strengthens the connections that you use most often in your life system and will suppress those thoughts about which you think less or things you pay less attention to. Always think good, be positive so that your brain works in the same direction.
So, now you have understood that the brain has a delete button and how it prunes the synapses.