Contrary to popular belief, neurons continue to grow and change in older brains.

The apocryphal tale that you can’t grow new brain cells just isn’t true. Neurons continue to grow and change beyond the first years of development and well into adulthood, according to a new study.

The finding challenges the traditional belief that adult brain cells, or neurons, are largely static and unable to change their structures in response to new experiences.

The study, performed in adult mice, found that the branch-like projections on some neurons, called “dendrites,” were still physically malleable. Dendrites conduct electrical signals received from other neurons to the parent neuron’s cell body. The changes occurred both incrementally and in short bursts, and involved both growth and shrinkage.

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