And it is a good thing that we aren’t born without all those connections already in place. Each of us needs to build our own brain, with the specific skills and abilities that we will use throughout our lives. We each need to learn to speak our own native language, to build unique skills from playing basketball to creating music.
Every time we learn something new, we strengthen, shape, or form new connections between neurons in our brain. Our brains can make changes to the connections between neurons throughout our lives. Some synapses are strengthened, while unused connections sometimes become smaller or are removed. This way, our brains constantly adapt – they are flexible in our ever-changing environment.
The more you use a certain set of connections in your brain, the stronger it gets. For example, the more you practice speaking a second language, the easier it gets. In your brain, new networks of connections are constantly forming and growing stronger.