Pruning Definition | Psychology

In neuropsychology, pruning is the reduction of axons, synapses, and neurons that occurs naturally and over time. This mainly occurs before sexual maturity but does continue slowly throughout life.

All animals are born with an insane number of neural connections for the organism to grow and develop as it matures. Over time, the unused neural connections gradually disappear as animals age. Its one of the mechanisms behind being able to learn new skills at a younger age at a faster pace, although the environment of youth and full-time education do make a marked difference as well.