Do new neurons divide propotionally?

  • if i try to improve my reasoning skills,are the new neurons only made for that specific region of the brain that controls reasoning skill?

  • i have heard that one side of the brain controls the other side of the body, if i try to use my non-dominant hand(left hand in my case),are new neurons only made for right side of the brain,does it improve only some of the brain regions?

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    $\begingroup$ There is no evidence of new neurons except in the hippocampus and the olfatory bulb, and the evidence in humans is still controversial. Skills are not acquired by the addition of new neurons, but by the formation of new pathways between existing neurons. These pathways are highly specific, while your examples are rather vague, like the sort we read in pop magazines: "brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand to become smarter" - it would be great if it were that easy, unfortunately this is just pseudoscience. $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Nov 15 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I always thought that it was real. $\endgroup$ – Zheer Nov 15 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ So If you take too many IQ tests you won't get smarter in other areas(things) other than the IQ test , you only get smarter at IQ tests, right? $\endgroup$ – Zheer Nov 15 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Similarly some brain games, tests claim that they can boost your brain, however they only form new pathways between existing neurons in your brain, therefore you only get better in that specific pattern of the game, test, if this is true most brain games are pseudoscience, am i right? $\endgroup$ – Zheer Nov 15 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, most likely the claims of common "brain games" are essentially pseudoscience $\endgroup$ – electronpusher Nov 15 at 22:05

It seem's you are assuming that your / the adult human brain produces new neurons over time- this is (largely) incorrect: neurons are non-dividing cells and are all formed throughout embryogenesis and very early childhood / infancy (see also this question).

Only very exceptions to this are known as adult neurogenesis (generation of new neurons), the most likely or active region in humans would be the hippocampus, however the extent or importance of the process in humans is still not really known. Additionally the hippocampus is an area of the brain that mostly holds memories and is not really related to reasoning skills or body / motor control.

  • $\begingroup$ If i use my non-dominant hand, does it improve some regions of the brain while having no effect on the other regions of the brain? $\endgroup$ – Zheer Nov 14 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ "Regions" is to broad: it will have no effect even in the same "region" as a whole.. Anything learned will make new pathways between existing neurons. But these are highly specific, and you wouldn't expect any improvement except in the very skill you have practiced, regardless of the brain regions used in that skill. $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Nov 15 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Gabriel are the "new pathways between existing neurons" in the same regions of the brain that was used in that skill? $\endgroup$ – Zheer Nov 15 at 16:15

Not an answer, but a clarification. By "hippothalamus" (a probable typo) above it is probably meant "hippocampus", as is mentioned in wiki link. It is hippocampus which is known "to hold memories", but it is a part of a larger "memory" circuit and is a bit similar to temporary memory responsible for holding only recent memories and integrating recent memories into long-term memory. This overview of neurogenesis can also be useful.

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    $\begingroup$ Yep, that was an error in my answer, thanks for pointing it out - I fixed it now (normally this should probably have been a comment to my answer, but you probably don't have enough reputation for comments yet) $\endgroup$ – Nicolai Nov 15 at 15:38

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