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Birth, Death, and Connections.

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:29 am
by Mythics
I've been tinkering with Artificial Neural Networks for quite some time, mostly because I find them interesting. While I understand many basic ANN models and their usefulness, I'm a little confused regarding biological neurons. While I understand the basics of how they work, when they fire, etc; I'm lacking in knowledge regarding the birth/death/connections of neurons.

What typically causes new neurons to form? What causes them to 'die'? If a specific neuron doesn't fire for an extended period of time, does anything change?

Regarding connections, what drives a neuron to connect to another specific neuron? What causes two neurons to become disconnected? Do these events even happen?

Again, this is more of a hobby to me, nothing special or even school related.

Thanks for any and all help,