How the brain physically makes connections


When you learn your brain makes physical connections between brain cells. How exactly does this work physically?

Imagine you’re trying to learn a difficult concept. Someone keeps explaining it over and over but its just not clicking. Then, another person steps in and explains it a bit differently and boom! It makes total sense and you fully understand the concept.

How does this look at the brain cell level? What are the brain cells themselves doing while you can’t understand it right up until you can?

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The connections themselves are made in advance, and they are almost random – brain cells grow in arbitrary directions, until they touch their neighbor. The learning is achieved not by creating connections, but by pruning wrong ones.

There are usually two networks of brain cells: forward and backward. One tries to interpret signals from outside, while the other tries to recreate them back from interpretation. They compare with each other and slightly tweak disagreeing connections. The “clicking” happens, when two networks agree.