News tagged with synapses

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

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

Brain noise found to nurture synapses

A study has shown that a long-overlooked form of neuron-to-neuron communication called miniature neurotransmission plays an essential role in the development of synapses, the regions where nerve impulses ...

May 07, 2014
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How visual attention affects the brain

New work at the University of California, Davis, shows for the first time how visual attention affects activity in specific brain cells. The paper, published June 26 in the journal Nature, shows that attent ...

Jun 26, 2013
popularity 4.8 / 5 (6) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

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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