A new neuron sounds like it could be a new car. The Neuron would be a compact and efficient car, but up to new challenges. Older model Neurons would have trouble being found in parking lots, or get lost going somewhere. Actually, I am talking about the brainy kind of neuron; the neuron that makes connections between other neurons, and helps you remember where you did happen to park your new car. Scientists have told us that we had all we were going to get by the time we were adults, but just as I have suspected for awhile, we can grow new ones. We can grow new ones when we exercise, or practice puzzles, or learn new challenges. When I went back to school, and studied some unfamiliar, and rather complicated subjects, I am pleased to report that I got A's. Granted, it wasn't quantum physics that I was studying, and I wasn't figuring out ways to avoid the work, as I did in former school years, but I did feel my brain getting bigger.

According to Scientific American, thousands of new cells are born every day in the mature hippocampus, but unless the bearer of the new neurons is challenged to learn something, these neurons will die in a couple of weeks. 'Couch potato' isn't just a casual endearment in the scientific world.

When scientists experimented on mice and rats, they found that those mice which used their exercise wheels most religiously, developed more brain cells than their sedentary cousins. They also found that eating blueberries promoted neuron growth, and added that to the gym rats' diets. Gym rat isn't just an endearment either--these rats tie on their bad boy bandannas, hit the treadmill, and have blueberry smoothies, afterward. It's not just self-congratulatory, transitory smugness you feel from the knowledge that you have done something extraordinary, such as eating right and exercising. No, there really is a good reason for that righteous feeling of goodness; you have enhanced your brain!

What the scientists discovered too, was that not all learning works when it comes to survival of the newest. When they had the little critters swim over to a platform that is visible in a pool of water, this activity did not enhance cell survival. Why? Because it didn't take much thought. The tasks that rescue the most neurons are the ones that are hardest to master. So, are dumb people dumb because they are lazy, and don't want to swim to a platform, or are they smarter than the rest of us, and just saving it for the bigger challenges? The rats that had to try the hardest, and learned after many more trials than the smarter rats, ended up with more new neurons. Perhaps the rest of us are smarter than an Einstein, after all.

More research is being done with human subjects. Some of the findings come from people with Alzheimer's, or who have been on chemotherapy. They are discovering new things about our brains all the time; which coincidentally means the researchers are developing new neurons.

Author's Bio: 

I'd rather get my blog done, than my hair and nails, but I'll do both if I've got the time and money. I'm in a good place emotionally, and am ready to share the experiences that have taught me so much.