News tagged with synapses

Related topics: brain , nerve cells , neurons , protein , memory

When neurons have less to say, they speak up

The brain is an extremely adaptable organ – but it is also quite conservative. That's in short, what scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and their colleagues from the ...

Oct 16, 2013
popularity 4.6 / 5 (11) | comments 1 | with audio podcast

New theory of synapse formation in the brain

The human brain keeps changing throughout a person's lifetime. New connections are continually created while synapses that are no longer in use degenerate. To date, little is known about the mechanisms behind ...

Oct 10, 2013
popularity 5 / 5 (4) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

What happens when synapses run out of transmitter?

(Medical Xpress)—The recent Nobel Prize Award in Medicine highlights the importance of vesicle-based transport for different kinds of cells. One of the recipients, Thomas Sudhof, has contributed extensively to our current understanding of vesicl ...

Oct 09, 2013
popularity 4.6 / 5 (16) | comments 5 | with audio podcast report

Caffeine consumption slows down brain development

Humans and other mammals show particularly intensive sleeping patterns during puberty. The brain also matures fastest in this period. But when pubescent rats are administered caffeine, the maturing processes in their brains ...

Sep 24, 2013
popularity 4 / 5 (4) | comments 0

Chemical synapse

Chemical synapses are specialized junctions through which neurons signal to each other and to non-neuronal cells such as those in muscles or glands. Chemical synapses allow neurons to form circuits within the central nervous system. They are crucial to the biological computations that underlie perception and thought. They allow the nervous system to connect to and control other systems of the body.

The adult human brain is estimated to contain from 1014 to 5 × 1014 (100-500 trillion) synapses.[citation needed] Each mm3 of cerebral cortex contains roughly a billion of them.

The word "synapse" comes from "synaptein", which Sir Charles Scott Sherrington and colleagues coined from the Greek "syn-" ("together") and "haptein" ("to clasp"). Chemical synapses are not the only type of biological synapse: electrical and immunological synapses also exist. Without a qualifier, however, "synapse" commonly means chemical synapse.

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