Wikipedia, A typical view of the synapse.

Synaptic pruning (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) In neuroscience, synaptic pruning, neuron pruning or neuro-structural re-assembly is a neurological regulatory process, which facilitates a productive change in neural structure by reducing the overall number of overproduced or “weak” neurons into more efficient synaptic configurations. It is often a synonym used to describe the maturation of behavior and cognitive intelligence in children by “weeding out” the weaker synapses. more …
Young children can distinguish all kinds of language sounds, all different sounds for “a” in Chinese for instance. Older children lost this ability in favor of better mastering their acquired language.

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