I was reading in a book that in the process of neurogenesis - when new neurons are born - neurons compete for survival. Or in other words they have to make themselves useful to the brain otherwise they die and become processed as brain food.

To what extent is this real and how often does this happen?

i think that in the book I was reading it the author mentions it happening in early life, but I'm not entirely sure.

Would be great to know.

Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE and thanks for your question. Could you please provide a reference to the book you've read this in (and a direct quote of the claim would also be much appreciated). Thanks! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


It's definitely real ;)

Depending on your previous knowledge, this review from 1987 might be a good starting point. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/237/4819/1154.long

To give you an idea of recent developments this article is an easy read. Be sure to browse the references. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612357/

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! Could you include some relevant text from your sources, both for ease of reading and in case those links die? $\endgroup$
    – Harris
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 14:29

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