Even though the number of brain cells does not increase with age, the neurons in the brain do undergo change. The brain can expand dendrites and refine connections between neurons with challenging mental activity. This complexity of interconnections, or neural networks, results in a greater number of pathways to transmit messages. These pathways can be compared to roads on a map. The greater the number of roads represents different routes a person can take to go from one point to another point. The neurons in the brain are at risk of being damaged or lost during a lifetime due to various factors such as head injury or drugs. When neurons are destroyed, nearby surviving neurons can grow new dendrites and connections. This adaptability results in the rerouting of signals. Think of a route you take to a friend's house. If there is a detour sign, you have to find another route to take to get to your friend's house. The number of roads adjacent to the blocked route enables you to find another route.
Neural pathway, tree diagram, neural network, dendrite, neural branching, dendritic branching